February 2022 – The New Support at Home Program
The Department of Health has recently released a paper about the new Support at Home program that will start in July 2023. It will replace the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP); the Home Care Packages (HCP) Program; and Short Term Restorative Care (STRC) Program.
The program’s aim is to improve supports for care in the home so that senior Australians can stay at home for as long as possible before entering residential aged care. It hopes to overcome the problems associated with the HCP (long wait times, high overhead costs, high levels of unspent funds) and the CHSP (variable service availability by location). It also plans to extend the number of weeks of restorative care offered by the STRC from 8 weeks to 12 weeks, which would be welcomed by people recovering from surgery. It is proposed to provide financial support to providers operating in thin markets in regional, rural and remote areas, and those providing services to small cohorts of senior Australians with special needs.
It is intended that the new program will lead to fairer outcomes, with more money spent on direct care, and less on administration. Senior Australians would receive individualised service approvals based on their assessed care needs and personal circumstances, rather than being put into one of the four broad HCP levels, and would have greater choice of providers. The new assessment tool would gather information about informal carers and their identity. There would be a new funding model with support for point-of-delivery payments for service providers. Care management would be included as a type of service and would be offered to those with a more complex mix of services who also need oversight and coordination of their care.
The new program plans to provide better access to goods, equipment, assistive technologies and home modifications to support greater independence, by including the person’s need for them during the assessment process. Within the present systems there have often been delays in the provision of needed goods and services. Further work is required to work out how best to make the new system more responsive.
Under the current Aged Care Act 1997, recipients of a HCP must select one Approved Provider to take full care of responsibility for delivering their care package. The Approved Provider model is currently under review, and it is likely that the Support at Home Program would let suitable clients manage their care themselves, using multiple service providers if they chose to do so. Support at Home providers would be paid on a fee-for-service basis, as the services are delivered, with the prices based on the agreed prices for the Service
For further details, including the timeline for further consultations, see the full document at:
August 2021 – Progress in Improving Australia’s Aged Care System
Read about the meeting of the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA), held on 12 August 2021, here.
The Aged Care Royal Commission
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission commenced operation on 1 January 2019.
Its role is to protect and enhance the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of people in aged care.
The Commission assumed the functions of the former Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, and is committed to promoting high quality care and services to safeguard everyone who is receiving Australian government funded aged care.
If you want to make an inquiry or raise a complaint about the quality of care or services being delivered to people receiving aged care services subsidised by the Australian government, you can contact the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on phone 1800 951 822 or visit agedcarequality.gov.au
Aged Care Fees, Charges and Payments after 1 July 2014
From 1 July 2014 changes were made to care fees for residential and home care and the cost of accommodation. The new arrangements apply only to aged care residents and consumers of a home care package who entered or commenced care on or after 1 July 2014.
For those residents entering, or consumers commencing a home care package after 1 July 2014, go to the Department of Health website:
Residents who first entered aged care prior to 1 July 2014
Residents in aged care prior to 1 July 2014 will remain on their current arrangements as per the attached Schedule:
The Department maintains all Previous Fees and Charges.
Accommodation bond retention amounts will still apply to residents who transfer services after 1 July 2014 provided that the resident is not subject to the new fee arrangements. Further information can be found on the Accommodation Bond Retention Amounts webpage.
Maximum rates of interest also apply to residents who first entered care before 1 July 2014 and transfer to a new home on or after 1 July 2014 but are not subject to the new arrangements. Further information can be found on the Maximum Bond and Charge Interest Rate webpage.
The above information has been sourced from https://agedcare.health.gov.au/aged-care-funding/aged-care-fees-and-charges