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Proposed changes to the In-home aged care programs

In response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the Australian Government has announced several changes to its In-home aged care programs.  

 

The In-home aged support program is currently made up of several programs. These include:

 

  • Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
  • Home Care Packages (HCP) Program
  • Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) Program
  • Residential respite programs

 

Each program has a different approach to assessment, eligibility, service providers, funding, and fees. This can lead to inequitable outcomes and creates a complex and confusing system for people to navigate.  

 

From July 2023, these programs will be replaced by a single program called the ‘Support at Home Program’.

 

This reform package is designed to support more senior Australians to receive care at home, increase support for formal and informal carers and increase the accessibility of these services. Improved supports in the home would prevent many senior Australians from having to enter residential aged care prematurely and in some cases not at all.

 

 

How would the proposed Support at Home Program improve services?

 

As detailed on the Australian Government Department of Health’s website, the proposed changes will:

 

  • Reform all aspects of the delivery of in-home aged care including assessment, reablement and restorative care, to individualised support plans, clarity on service inclusions, funding of providers, and regulation of the market.

 

  • Ensure senior Australians receive individualised service approvals, based on their assessed aged care needs and personal circumstances, rather than being placed in one of the four broad home care package levels.

 

  • Ensure senior Australians have access to a new program for goods, equipment, assistive technologies, and home modifications needed to live safely and independently, rather than needing to ‘save up’ package funds for these purchases.

 

  • Provide a new funding model that supports point-of-delivery payments for service providers, while reducing their reporting burden. This would enable greater transparency for senior Australians and reduce fees and administrative costs.

 

  • Ensure assessments focus on independence, providing senior Australians with guidance and support to delay functional decline.

 

  • Give senior Australians a greater choice between providers to deliver their care.

 

  • See a risk-proportionate regulation model developed to support care businesses and care workers to participate in the delivery of safe and high-quality aged care services in a home environment.

 

The government is currently in the consultation process on all aspects of the proposed changes and how to best implement them.

 

For more information, you can view the Support at Home Program Overview paper.  

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