Annual Review of CoS Client Supports
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Annual review of CoS Client Supports
What is changing?
- Disability supports in participating states and territories are transferring to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) progressively from 1 July 2016. The NDIS is available for eligible people aged up to 65 years.
- The Australian Government will provide continuity of support for older people currently accessing State disability support services with disability who are not eligible for the NDIS.
- To meet this commitment, the Commonwealth Government has developed a new, national Continuity of Support (CoS) Programme administered by the Commonwealth Department of Health.
Requirements for CoS service providers
- Service providers should refer to their Funding Agreement for detail on all their requirements under the CoS Programme, including those in the CoS Programme Manual.
- One of these requirements, outlined in Section 3.3 of the Programme Manual, is that all CoS service providers conduct an annual review of client supports once they transition to CoS.
- This applies to providers funded under block arrangements and Individual Support Packages (ISP).
What do you mean by ‘review’?
- The review of supports means talking with your client about the supports they are receiving in their support plan and checking these are still meeting their goals, rather than reassessing their ongoing eligibility for services.
- The review process must include participation by the client and their carer/advocate/nominee.
- For some clients this review could be conducted over the phone where appropriate, for example if the client is receiving a low number of services or their support needs are stable.
What should I consider in the review?
- whether the client’s goals are being met;
- what strategies are working and what elements of the client’s services could be improved;
- whether the supports being accessed are meeting the client’s needs, or identifying different or additional support needs; and
- whether there are any changes in client circumstances.
What if I don’t have the expertise in my organisation?
- Where you do not have the expertise or capacity to undertake the annual review (or other as-needed reviews) you should purchase or sub-contract them from an organisation with the appropriate skills and capacity.
- This could be another CoS provider or perhaps an NDIS accredited provider if relevant.
How do I fund the review if I am purchasing a review?
- If you are block-funded you should fund the purchase from within your existing funding.
- If you are an ISP provider, you should fund the review from the administration component of your funding or the administration fee the client currently pays you.
- The cost of the review must not be paid from within the client’s ISP budget for supports.
- Clients must not be disadvantaged if you need to purchase the review.
What if I can genuinely not afford to fund the purchase of the review?
- Where you have a strong case for not having the expertise or funding capacity to fund an annual review for your clients, you should email the CommonwealthCoS@health.gov.au inbox seeking an Application Form to apply for one-off Annual Review funding.
- You will need to complete this form that explains why you need one-off extra funding to purchase the annual review for your client/s.
- If the Department of Health approves your case, you may purchase the review at a cost of up to $500 per client. The department will reimburse you for this cost in your next grant agreement instalment.
- After this time it is expected that you will build capacity within your organisation to conduct the annual reviews yourself, or sub-contract them from existing funding (e.g. through staff development or recruitment, or establishment of partnerships with other organisations).
What if the client doesn’t agree?
If a client does not agree with the review arrangements they should discuss alternatives with you.
Should these discussions not result in agreement, clients can access the complaint mechanisms noted in your Funding Agreement and Chapter Five of the Programme Manual.
What if the client is receiving services from other providers?
- Where a client receives services from multiple providers, the client (in partnership with their carer/advocate/nominee where relevant) can select a ‘lead’ provider to undertake a coordinated review of their supports, with input from all their service providers.
Outcomes of the review
You should discuss the outcomes of the review with your client and their carer/advocate/nominee.
- If you are an ISP provider, you and the client may adjust any services received so long as the client’s current ISP budget allocation remains the same (that is, change the mix of supports).
- Should the outcome result in a referral to My Aged Care for screening and assessment for aged care services, support will be provided to you by the department to commence a guided, inbound referral process.
- This may include helping clients to access information on options for accessing financial hardship assistance for people who may have difficulty paying aged care fees and charges.
Other support to conduct reviews
You can access the National Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) for interpreting services to assist you to conduct the review (Chapter Five of the CoS Programme Manual).
When do annual reviews need to be conducted?
The annual review should be undertaken 12 months after your client begins in CoS. Additional reviews may also be required should the client’s needs change.
More detailed information on the review of supports is in Section 3.3 of the CoS Programme Manual.
Enquiries about the CoS Programme can be emailed to your Grant Agreement Manager once you have signed a CoS Funding Agreement or the CommonwealthCoS@health.gov.au.