Client Information and Support
The Australian Government is improving the way home care is delivered to older Australians. These changes are important for a sustainable and quality aged care system that is more consumer driven, market-based and less regulated. The reforms start on 27 February 2017 and will change home care in three main areas: allowing funding to follow the consumer, establishing a new national process for prioritising access to home care and reducing red tape for Approved Providers.
The Department has been working with clients to develop a range of information to help them through the changes. Assessors will continue to play a vital role in assisting clients to the point of effective referral.
All clients with a home care approval now have a My Aged Care client record. My Aged Care will send updates to clients via hard copy letters. The letters will also include checklists that help clients research potential providers and then supports them in their discussions with their chosen provider. If any of your clients need the information in a language other than English they can call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and asking for the My Aged Care contact centre.
As information to the client will be sent by post, it is important that the correct postal address is recorded, if it has not already been added by the contact centre. Where a client has a representative, their address should be added separately and not in the client address or postal address fields.
My Aged Care includes a website and contact centre and is a single entry point that provides information on aged care services. It is aimed at clients, carers and family members who are looking for information about Commonwealth-funded aged care services.
The My Aged Care service finder and assessor portal are being enhanced to support the home care changes. From 27 February 2017, more information about providers will be available in the service finder to help clients find a provider that best meet their needs. Assessors also have a service finder in their portal this is on MyAgedCare.gov.au. Once a search has been undertaken, up to three providers can be selected and compared based on their services, hours of operation, costs and culture, religion and language. A provider short list can be printed and provided to clients from the service finder on the My Aged Care website.
From 27 February 2017, assessors will be able to indicate whether they would like to receive notifications for clients who may require additional support to access a home care package. The decision on whether a client needs support will always be based on the clinical judgement of assessors and will be determined on a case–by-case basis.
Where assessors have indicated they would like to receive notification for identified clients. The assessor will receive a system notification in the assessor portal when the client is issued any home care correspondence from the department, for example, a package assignment letter. These notifications will be visually distinguishable from other system notifications to help manage workflow.
This notification will act as a prompt, so assessors can make contact with the client and determine what (if any) assistance they may need, such as:
- Help creating a short-list of providers
- Sending an electronic referral if the client does not wish to use their referral code: and
- Through the contact centre, help the client request an extension once they have been assigned a package and they need more time to enter into a Home Care Agreement with a provider.
Key points to remember
- Assessors will continue to support clients to the point of effective referral. There are system changes to help make this process easier for home care packages.
- The My Aged Care home care package service finder (both the website and assessor portal) will have additional functionality from 27 February 2017 to support the changes.
- From 27 February 2017, assessors will be able to indicate whether they would like to receive notifications when certain clients receive home care correspondence.
For further information:
- visit the department’s website; or
- subscribe to receive electronic updates; or
- call the My Aged Care service provider and assessor helpline on 1800 836 799.
- ACAT Short Course Material
- ACAT Guidance Framework for Home Care Package Level
- User Guide: ACAT Guidance Framework for Home Care Package Level
- Guidance on Priority for Home Care Services
- QRG13 – Management of Home Care Packages from 27 February 2017
- Assessor Fact Sheet – Home Care changes overview
- Assessor Fact Sheet – Home Care national prioritisation process
- Assessor Fact Sheet – Home Care package eligibility and assessment from 27 February 2017
- Your Pathway to Accessing a home care package (tri-fold brochure) – to provide client with an understanding of the pathway to access a home care package.
- Researching Home Care Providers – Considerations and Checklist – provides clients with a list of considerations to support their research of providers.
- Entering into a Home Care Agreement - Considerations and Checklist – provides clients with a list of considerations to support discussion and negotiations with providers when entering into a Home Care Agreement.
- Changing Providers - Considerations and Checklist – provides clients with a list of considerations when thinking about changing providers.
This fact sheet provides general guidance to support the implementation of the Increasing Choice in Home Care reforms. It does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a substitute for responsibilities under the legislative framework.