The recent Aged Care Reforms ‘Increasing Choice in Home Care’ commenced on 27 February 2017 and aim to improve the way that home care services are delivered to older Australians. The recent changes mean people now have more choice about their care and who it is delivered by. It can sometimes be overwhelming to find out exactly what all the changes mean for you so we thought we would try to simplify it as much as possible.
What are the main changes to home care?
Choice and Flexibility
There will now be better access to your choice of home care provider. You also have the flexibility to move to another home care provider to better suit your needs and lifestyle.
Packages will be assigned to consumers based on how long they have been waiting for care, in addition to their individual needs and circumstances, regardless of where they live.
What happens if I currently have a home care package?
If you are happy with the services you currently receive, you do not need to do anything. You will continue to receive the same service and care. If you do seek to change providers, your package funding will follow you.
I have been approved for a home care package, but I haven’t started receiving care. What do these changes mean for me?
There is a national way for packages to be assigned to consumers. This is through a national queue. Your place in the queue is based on how long you have been waiting for care, with your needs and circumstances determined through your comprehensive assessment.
Once you reach the top of the queue and a package is available, you will be assigned a package through My Aged Care. Once this package has been assigned to you, you will then be able to select a provider to suit your individual requirements.
How do the changes directly affect individuals?
You will now have further choice to change to a different home care provider if required, to best suit your needs and lifestyle. This means you will have Fairer Access, but it’s important to consider both your Unspent Home Care Amount and Exit Amounts as discussed below, if you choose to move to a new provider.
With reference to agedcare.health.gov.au, when you start to receive services, you are entitled to:
- Have ongoing conversations with your provider about your needs and goals;
- Work with your provider to update and co-produce care plans if your care needs change;
- Have your monthly statements explained to you;
- Be involved in managing your home care package, if you would like to; and
- Be formally reassessed, if you wish, to ensure that your care and services continue to meet your needs.
What do individuals need to do, if anything?
It is important to consider your Unspent Home Care Amounts and Exit Amounts if you wish to change Home Care Provider.
Unspent Home Care Amounts
The unspent home care amount indicates the amount of funds left in your package after all expenses and fees have been paid. If you endeavour to change your home care provider or are leaving home care, you should seek further information about your unspent home care amount.
If you do change providers or leave home care, your provider may deduct an exit amount from your Unspent Home Care Amount. This will only apply if it is included in your Home Care Agreement.
If you wish to remain with your current provider, you do not have to take any action.
If you are seeking further information or have any questions, you can contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
What does it mean for the ILC’s services?
You now have the opportunity to choose the Independent Living Centre WA (ILC) as your provider of choice for Allied Health Services. Our experienced health professionals, including occupational therapists and physiotherapists, will work with you in your home or community to achieve your independence, safety and wellness goals.
Assistive equipment and technology is often an important component of achieving independence, increasing safety and maximising your participation.
Our allied health professionals have been helping people to achieve their goals for 40 years so you can feel assured that we will help you to make an informed choice about the best assistive equipment and technology options for you.
Please contact us on (08) 9381 0608 to see how we could support you.
Considerations to remember
- If you are currently receiving a home care package, it will not change. Your home care package will remain the same until you no longer require it.
- You will now have further choice and flexibility to change to a different home care provider if you wish.
- Consider your Unspent Home Care Amounts and whether you will receive an Exit Amount based on your Home Care Agreement.
- If you have any further questions, My Aged Care can assist you on 1800 200 422.