Streamlining assessments for home support services

Page last updated: 25 October 2014

Important changes to assessment, case management and client care coordination for the commonwealth home support programme services and establishment of the regional assessment service

This information was distributed on 25 October 2014

My Aged Care is being enhanced to become the key entry point to Australia’s aged care system in the future, making it easier for older people, their families and carers to access aged care information and services that best meet their needs.

On 1 July 2015, one of the major changes to My Aged Care is the introduction of the Regional Assessment Service (RAS), which will be responsible for assessing the home support needs of older people. It will also provide support for locating and accessing suitable services based on the preferences of older people. 

The RAS is being established to support the separation of assessment services from service provision, and this new approach will allow for a nationally consistent approach to assessment delivery. The RAS will also help ensure that the allocation of services is based on client needs, and not be limited by the scope of services that a particular service provider may offer.

From 1 July 2015, the Regional Assessment Service will be responsible for assessing all the home support needs of older people. This will be carried out by undertaking holistic face to face assessments of older people and their carers. A linking service will also be established which will offer short term case management and care coordination for vulnerable older people with complex needs.

Currently assessment, case management and client care coordination are funded under the Commonwealth HACC Program. However, from 1 July 2015, this program will be combined to form the new Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). CHSP will also include the combination of the National Respite for Carers Program, the Day Therapy Centre Program, and potentially the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged Program.

As part of these changes, assessment, case management and client care coordination activities will be delivered through the Regional Assessment Service, not the Commonwealth HACC Program.

If you are currently providing assessment, case management and client care coordination services under the Commonwealth HACC Program, the Department will contact you to discuss the potential implications for your funding. The Department encourages you to consider submitting an application to become part of the Regional Assessment Service if you would like to deliver similar services in the future.

Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) will continue to undertake comprehensive face to face assessments for Home Care Packages and residential care, and will from July 2015, progressively move to using the My Aged Care system.

What to do if you want to be part of the Regional Assessment Service

The Department of Social Services will be conducting an open tender to contract organisations for the Regional Assessment Service, which involves assessment services for people requiring home support. The services arising from this tender opportunity will be delivered within 52 pre-specified regions across Australia excluding Victoria and Western Australia, but will be open to organisations from all jurisdictions. This will include assessments for new clients, reassessments for existing clients whose circumstances change, and linking service support.

Assessment will be separated from aged care service delivery under this model, and the provision of assessments will be undertaken and managed over 52 geographical Aged Care Planning Regions (separate arrangements will apply in Victoria and Western Australia). It is proposed that these new arrangements would be in place and operate from 1 July 2015.

An industry briefing will be held for service providers interested in applying for the Regional Assessment Service, and this will be supported by a webinar. Information about the briefing session as well as the tender process will be available on 24/10/2014 via the Commonwealth’s procurement information website AusTender. Details for the relevant contact officer for the Regional Assessment Service procurement will also be provided on AusTender.

Commonwealth Home Support Programme

The Department is working collaboratively with the CHSP Advisory Group of the National Aged Care Alliance on the development of the CHSP, including transition arrangements for clients, carers and providers. Implementation details for the CHSP are not yet confirmed. The Department will contact service providers in coming months to confirm arrangements under the new programme, including the approach to contracting and the selection of service providers. If you have any other general enquiries regarding the CHSP, please email them to CHSP@dss.gov.au.

 

Regards,

Donna Moody 
Group Manager
Ageing and Aged Care Service Group
Department of Social Services