The new mandatory wellness report for Commonwealth Home Support Program providers will not be “burdensome” for organisations and will establish an industry baseline to measure sector progress, the Department of Health has said.

In April the department announced two new funding conditions as part of the extended CHSP grant agreements – an annual wellness report and a requirement to provide data on all existing CHSP clients not registered with My Aged Care.

The first wellness report is due in October and a reporting template will be released to providers before the end of August.

Department officials told a sector webinar on the CHSP funding extension held late last month the “streamlined” report would seek to capture overall service rather than client-level data. For example, it could ask providers to submit the percentage of clients receiving short-term, episodic or ongoing services under the program.

The report would also include free text fields to give providers the opportunity to demonstrate how wellness approaches are being implemented at an organisational level to inform the government’s “stocktake” on wellness.

The information gathered would also assist the department to understand where additional support for providers is required, the officials said.

As part of a wellness approach, providers will be required to break down goals into achievable steps and undertake client service reviews at least every year to monitor client progress, it said.

To further assess the sector’s progress on wellness approaches, the department is introducing a new internal data audit from 1 July of up to 10 per cent of CHSP providers each year.

Service delivery data contained in My Aged Care client records such as the commencement date of services, frequency and service volume and end date if applicable will be reviewed, the department said in the webinar. Client assessment and support planning information and service provider data in the DSS Data Exchange would also be reviewed to understand service delivery practices.

The department said it could follow up with providers to discuss their results as part of its wellness stocktake, however this exercise would not be considered a “performance audit.”

The two-year reablement assessment model to be trialled with four Regional Assessment Services, which was announced in the May budget, will be based on the successful WA active assessment model. The trial evaluation will assess the service and client outcomes compared to non-trial regions, the department said.

Registration on My Aged Care

The Department of Health confirmed a “significant number” of Commonwealth Home Support Program clients have not been registered or assessed through the My Aged Care gateway. This includes both existing and grandfathered clients.

To address this, CHSP providers will be required to provide data to the department on all existing CHSP clients not registered with My Aged Care.

The department is currently considering options for this data collection process, with the aim of minimising the impact on providers, the officials said.

CHSP and home care waitlist

The department confirmed older people currently waiting on the national queue for home care packages are eligible to receive services under the CHSP as an interim arrangement, but only at an entry-level not up to their assessed package level.

The department said further guidance around client contributions under CHSP will be released to providers “shortly” and it was looking into “growth funding options available”.

Download the department’s webinar here.

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