Summary of the proposed reforms.

Australians are living longer and healthier lives and it is important that as people age, they have choice about their care. To support this objective, the Government announced significant reforms to home care as part of the 2015-16 budget. They called it the “Increasing Choice for Older Australians” measure.

The reforms will support consumers to receive the services they need. At the same time, the reforms will strengthen the aged care system to provide high quality and more innovative services through increased competition. The changes will build on the current consumer directed care (CDC) approach in home care and will be introduced in two stages.

From Feb 2017 (Stage 1), funding for a home care package will follow the consumer. This will make it easier for consumers to select a home care provider and to change their provider should they wish to do so. The current requirement for providers to apply for home care places will be removed, significantly cutting red tape. The changes will give older Australians greater choice in deciding who provides their care and establish a consistent national approach to prioritising access to care.

From July 2018 (Stage 2), the Government intends to integrate the HCP Program and CHSP into a single care at home program to further simplify the way that services are delivered and funded.

The current Home Care Packages Program

The Home Care Package Program forms part of the Government continuum of care for older Australians. The objectives of the program are:

  • To assist people to remain living at home; and
  • To enable consumers to have choice and flexibility in the way that the consumer’s aged care and support is provided at home.

To access a home care package,

Step One: Get assessed a consumer has to be assessed and approved as eligible for home care by an ACAT and offered a package by an approved provider. A package may include a range of co-ordinated personal care, support services, clinical care and other services tailored to meet the assessed needs of the consumer, including people with dementia and other special needs.

Options can be provided to you about the different types of aged care services, your eligibility for services, who can provide the services to best meet your needs and what fees may be involved.

Step Two: Choose who you want to provide your approved package or service

If you are eligible for a government funded package you may need to choose from a list of service providers that hold the funding to provide packages you are eligible for in your area. In this instance your next choice will be whether you want services provided by the funds holder or whether you choose an agency like A.P. Care Services – (a private agency providing quality, reliable, person centred and culturally diverse services with staff that are dedicated, respectful and provide exceptional care)

If this is your choice then you need to discuss your choice with the funds holder.
If you are not eligible for a government subsidised package and you would like support, your choice then becomes who do you want to provide services and how much are you prepared to pay to receive services that best meet your needs.

What is Consumer Directed Care?

CDC is a philosophy that applies to all home care packages and will continue to apply through this measure. It is central to choice and giving people a say in the type of care they receive at home. CDC is about the fact that most people have managed their lives all their life and want to go doing so, despite the challenges they face.

A Home Care Package delivered on a ‘CDC basis’ means having the choice to…

  • Have more say in the care and services accessed, how it is delivered, and by whom
  • Clients get to develop their own care plan with the service provider of their choosing
  • Determine how much involvement they want in managing their HCP
  • Have more understanding about how their HCP is funded, and how these funds will be spent
  • Monitor their HCP to determine whether it still meets their care need

Providers and consumers should be thinking about innovative ways to meet the consumer’s goals and care needs within the framework for the HCP Program. Consumers should not be limited by a ‘standard menu’ of service or service providers.

How do Consumers access the HCP Program.

Through the MyAgedCare website at www.myagedcare.gov.au. This has been established as an entry point into the aged care system.

The My Aged Care website has been established by the Australian Government to help you navigate the aged care system. My Aged Care is part of the Australian Government’s changes to the aged care system which have been designed to give people more choice, more control and easier access to a full range of aged care services.

My Aged Care is made up of this website and a contact centre. Together they can provide you with information on aged care for yourself, a family member, friend or someone you’re caring for. You can call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422 between 8am and 8pm on weekdays and between 10am and 2pm on Saturdays. The My Aged Care contact centre is closed on Sundays and national public holidays.

My Aged Care can help you find information about the services you need and what you need to do to receive them. My Aged Care is here to help you with information on services for yourself or someone you care about. It may be the first time you have had to look for aged care services or you may already be getting a service and want to see what else is available

My Aged Care is here to help you with information on services for yourself or someone you care about. It may be the first time you have had to look for aged care services or you may already be getting a service and want to see what else is available.

Choice

There are many different choices of packaged care designed to assist ageing people to stay independent and remain living in their own homes.

When looking for what support is available, go to the www.myagedcare.gov.au or phone 1800 059 059.

The choice is easy – A.P. Care Services and let us help you live a better life

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