The Support at Home program will bring all in home aged care providers under one funding model, a new paper has revealed.
The Federal Government has released its Support at Home Program Overview paper, which outlines what the program design could look like, including assessment, services, funding arrangements and care management.
The new program will start in July 2023 and will replace the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) Home Care Packages (HCP) Program and Short Term Restorative Care (STRC) Programme.
It was created as a response to the findings in the aged care royal commission.
According to the paper, Support at Home providers will be paid on a fee-for-service basis.
“Payments would be made based on the agreed prices for the service list, once services specified in a person’s support plan have been delivered,” the paper said.
A Point of Delivery Payment Platform is currently being developed and will enable providers to receive payments in real time, from both government and senior Australians.
“The platform would also assist in capturing information from providers about service delivery and their clients, automating reporting on service provision,” the paper said.
Under the new program, providers and senior Australians will not be able to accrue unspent funds because providers will be paid as services are delivered.
“For example, if a person goes on holiday and does not require their cleaning services, the provider would not receive payment for them, and the senior Australian would not accrue their entitlement,” the paper said.
Supporting informal carers
Informal carers will also be supported through the program, with improved integration between My Aged Care and the Carer Gateway.
“The Carer Gateway will enable carers to book respite services in advance and provide assistance through counselling, coaching, peer support and skills training,” the paper said.
“There is also access to specialised dementia carer education through the Carer Gateway.”
The outcomes of a senior Australian’s assessment and their service recommendations will be reflective of the support provided by their informal carer, with the new assessment tool to compile information about the carer and their identity.
Under the new program, clients will be able to self-manage their care and even use multiple service providers if they wish.
“The Approved Provider model is under review, with alternative approaches with risk-proportionate regulation and market-entry requirements under development,” the paper said.
“The intent is to assure safe and quality care can be delivered with appropriate oversight, including by small businesses, without undue administrative burden.”
Self-management will be enabled by a new payments platform that will allow senior Australians and providers to view the person’s entitlements and book and pay for services at the point of delivery.
New assessment tool and service list
Other changes to the program include a new assessment tool and a service list.
An Integrated Assessment Tool will be introduced in July 2023 to better match services to a person’s aged care support needs.
“The tool will assess eligibility for all aged care programs, including home care, residential care, transition care, multi-purpose services and respite,” the paper said.
A Service List will be used to inform senior Australians and providers of the services available in the new program.
“Services included on the Service List would be available to senior Australians at a Commonwealth Government subsidised cost,” the paper said.
“Providers may choose to offer additional services to senior Australians; however, these would not receive Commonwealth Government funding and would be at the person’s own cost.”
To help guide the design of the program, the government will be seeking consultation from the community, including senior Australians and their families and informal carers, aged care providers and peak bodies.