Some 25 per cent of home care package providers are yet to consider changing their services and systems to a consumer directed care approach four months out from the required transition to CDC, the Department of Social Services has told a sector briefing.
Early findings from the Federal Government’s evaluation of home care packages and CDC reveals that while the vast majority of providers are getting on top of the necessary cultural and service changes, one quarter of providers have not yet started thinking about CDC in a serious way.
All home care packages must be delivered on a CDC basis from 1 July 2015.
Shona McQueen, branch manager with DSS, said many of the late adopters were in rural and remote areas and would be the focus of government efforts to get them ready to transition to the new model.
As part of the latest Aged Care Approvals Round, the Federal Government is also trialling a new ‘hub and spoke’ model in remote Northern Territory in recognition of the need for a more flexible approach to remote service delivery, she said.
The two small remote areas, the Central Desert shire and the MacDonnell shire, have been allocated 25 home care packages in total, which can be reallocated to different parts of the region once a client exits a package, Ms McQueen said.
The trial of a hub and spoke model will help inform the future delivery of home care and CDC in these small rural and remote communities and address concerns over the potential for market failure, the briefing was told.
The Sydney audience heard that some providers were struggling to embed CDC into their organisational culture including upskilling staff, as well as implementing the necessary administrative systems to provide consumers with an individualised budget and monthly income and expenses statement.
The department encouraged providers to utilise the resources made available through Home Care Today.
The capacity of clients with diverse and complex needs to take advantage of CDC such as those with dementia or CALD clients was raised as a significant issue by the audience.
In particular, the cost of funding interpreter services through a client’s home care package was identified as a sector concern.
The department also announced proposed legislative amendments to clarify provider and consumer rights and responsibilities around CDC, with an exposure draft due for consultation in early April.
The final evaluation report of home care packages is due to the Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield by May and will identify any changes required to the CDC policy before the 1 July conversion of all home care packages.
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