Service providers: overview of My Aged Care representation changes

Page last updated: 04 July 2017

Information for aged care service providers on the changes to representation introduced to My Aged Care from 3 July 2017.

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In late 2016 the department undertook consultation with the aged care sector to better understand what is, and what is not working well with My Aged Care through co-design workshops.

Sector participants then had the opportunity to develop solutions across:

  • policy
  • process
  • system
  • communications

As a result of this process, My Aged Care is making improvements in two key areas:

  • better support for all clients, including clients with diverse needs
  • improving access to information for health professionals.

The following provides an overview of representation in My Aged Care and information relevant to service providers in supporting older people to access services.

Overview of representation

If an older person is unable or unwilling to talk to My Aged Care, you may wish to help them set up a representative. For most older people this would be a family member, carer or friend. However, any individual, including someone who works for a service provider can become a regular representative for someone in My Aged Care, with the client’s consent.

What a representative can do

A representative for someone in My Aged Care is able to speak and act for the client including:

  • give information to My Aged Care about the client including talking to assessors, the My Aged Care contact centre and service providers
  • get information about a client’s progress in My Aged Care
  • make decisions about aged care assessment and referrals for aged care services
  • see and update client information through the contact centre or on the My Aged Care client record on myGov
  • be listed as the client’s primary contact so they can be the first contact point for My Aged Care.

Regular and authorised representatives

My Aged Care has two types of representative: a regular representative and an authorised representative. 

Regular representative

If the older person is capable of providing consent for someone else to speak and act for them, they can set up someone else as their regular representative.

A regular representative can be the primary contact for a client but will not receive written correspondence from My Aged Care.

Authorised representative

If an older person is not capable of providing consent for someone else to speak on their behalf, they will need an authorised representative. Authorised representatives need to provide My Aged Care with legal documentation to show that they can legally act in this role.

Additional information about the legal documents that My Aged Care accepts

An authorised representative will automatically be the primary contact for the client (unless they nominate another person to do this) and will receive all correspondence from My Aged Care.

Becoming a representative

A representative can be put in place at any time, including when the older person first contacts My Aged Care or after they have been assessed.

There are three main ways to set-up a representative:

The “Appointment of Representative” form needs to be completed, signed and returned to My Aged Care by fax or mail, including any legal documentation where required. If a referral is being made, the form and any required legal documentation can also be attached to a webform referral.

My Aged Care creates a client record for all representatives. This is to ensure that we are speaking to the right person each time they contact us. To create a record My Aged Care requires personal information, including the representative’s Medicare number and date of birth in order to facilitate an identity check with the Department of Human Services.

Information on representation for clients and their families

Information on representation is available for clients and their family and carers on the My Aged Care website.

The following fact sheets provide information for consumers, their families and carers on how to get help to talk to My Aged Care:

Changing representatives

A client or regular representative can call My Aged Care to cancel any existing regular representative appointments at any time.

If the older person no longer requires an authorised representative, the existing authorised representative will need to call My Aged Care to make the change. A new or additional authorised representative can be added by sending in a completed Appointment of a Representative Form as well as the correct legal documents.  

Other options for clients to get help with My Aged Care

For various reasons, some older people can’t talk with My Aged Care over the phone and are not able to put in place a representative. To ensure these people are still able to access aged care, My Aged Care allows specific groups to go direct to an aged care assessment without the client talking directly to the contact centre. This includes an older person who:

  • has a medical condition that means they can’t talk on the phone
  • is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and who due to past experience doesn’t feel comfortable talking on the phone
  • has poor hearing or is deaf and doesn’t have the technology to use the National Relay Service
  • lives in a remote community and does not have phone access or reception,
  • doesn’t speak English and their language isn’t available on the Translating and Interpreting Service
  • is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

In these instances, you can make a referral directly to assessment by calling the My Aged Care contact centre. You will need the consumer’s consent to do this.

Screening will not be completed, as in this instance it is more appropriate for this information to be obtained by an assessor directly from a client at the time of assessment.

If the older person does not meet one of the above reasons and does not want to talk to My Aged Care, they will need to put in place a representative. Alternatively, Health professionals are also able to help clients without needing to become a representative.

Other changes

When you make a referral to My Aged Care for a new client, it should be as complete as possible. However, if you need to add information after the referral has been made, you can do this by calling My Aged Care.

The contact centre will verify that you are the original referrer (or a colleague) by getting the following information:

  • full name of referrer
  • client’s full name
  • type of referral (e.g. web, fax or phone) or date of referral
  • Referral confirmation number, referrer contact number or organisation name
  • If a colleague is calling to add information, the name and phone number of the colleague.

The contact centre will then add this information to a note on the client record.