Aged Care Reform Implementation Update
This information was distributed on August 20, 2014
Dear Aged Care Stakeholder
Reform Implementation – Update
We are now several weeks into the new financial year and the commencement of reforms that came into effect on 1 July 2014.
The Department is keenly interested in how providers are managing under the new arrangements. Through our existing consultative mechanisms with sector representatives, feedback from provider organisations has been helpful in identifying issues. These have included provider obligations to complete an Aged Care Entry Record for all new care recipients, the new income and assets testing processes and the Fee Estimators that are on the My Aged Care website.
Some helpful information about each of these issues is provided below. The Department will continue to circulate these updates regularly.
Aged Care Entry Record (ACER) - Reminder
The completion of an ACER for each new care recipient is a necessary and important task for providers – whether the care recipient is entering residential aged care or has entered into a home care package. The form can be found on the Department of Human Services website.
Income and Assets Assessments – the New Arrangements
Providers do not need to wait for income or means assessments to be completed before accepting clients.
At the same time, people who are about to seek or enter care do not need to delay applying for an income assessment (home care) or income and assets assessment (residential care) until their care arrangements commence. The process of entering care can be simpler if an assessment has already been completed.
Importantly, the assessment notice from the Department of Human Services generally remains current for 120 days. Consumers should notify the Department of Human Services (or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs where applicable) of changes in their circumstances during this 120 day period.
More information about income assessments, and income and assets assessments, including the relevant forms can be found on the Department of Human Services website.
Providers with clients who are experiencing delays in finalising their assessments can ring the Department of Human Services Aged Care Line on 1800 227 475, as urgent cases can be expedited.
Fee Estimators on the My Aged Care Website
There are two fee estimators on the My Aged Care website that are easily accessible – one for prospective home care package recipients and one for people who are considering residential aged care.
Both estimators will provide an estimate of the fees that care recipients may be asked to pay and can be found on the My Aged Care website.
Home Care Packages Programme Guidelines have been updated
The Home Care Packages Programme commenced on 1 August 2013, replacing the former packaged care programmes – Community Aged Care Packages (CACPs), Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) packages and Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia (EACHD) packages.
With the 1 July 2014 changes now in force, the Department has received a number of enquiries regarding the new arrangements for income tested fees. The Guidelines have been updated to clarify aspects of the new income testing requirements. The updated Home Care Packages Programme Guidelines July 2014 are available on the Department of Social Services website.
These Guidelines provide policy guidance to support the delivery and management of the Home Care Packages Programme.
If you would like to provide feedback or have a question about the Guidelines or the Home Care Packages Programme please email the Department via the Home Care Packages inbox firstname.lastname@example.org
More information on the aged care reforms.
Information is also available by calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or by visiting the My Aged Care website.
You can obtain free advice and assistance to help understand the impact of the accommodation payment reforms on your business operations and how to manage the transition to the new arrangements by phoning the Transitional Business Advisory Service on 1800 122 092 or by visiting the KPMG website.