Home care waiting list drops, says report

The number of people accessing a home care package has increased while the wait list for entering the program has decreased markedly, according to the latest government statistics.

The number of people waiting for a home care package has decreased while the number of recipients accessing a HCP has increased, according to the latest government statistics.

The Home Care Packages Program Data Report for the second quarter of the 2022-23 financial year – released only last month – shows that 235,599 people were receiving a HCP as of 1 December 2022, a 19 per cent increase on the previous year (198,109).

Home Care Package recipients at 1 December 2022 – Source: Home Care Packages Program Data Report 2nd Quarter 2022-23

A further 20,029 people had been assigned a HCP during the period but had yet to take up the package.

The report shows there were 33,270 approvals for a HCP in the December 2022 quarter with 22,172 new entries to the program during the period.

Home Care Package approvals in December 2022 quarter – Source: Home Care Packages Program Data Report 2nd Quarter 2022-23

All up, 43,550 HCPs were released during the period – an average of 3,350 per week.

Waiting list

Meanwhile, as of 31 December 2022, there were 37,894 people waiting on the National Priority System for a HCP at their approved level – a drop of 45 per cent (68,429) on the previous year, and a 14 per cent drop on the previous quarter (44,043).

Of these people, 7,696 people had been offered an interim HCP package while waiting for their approved level at 31 December (20 per cent) – including 277 yet to accept the offer and 192 who declined it.

This leaves 30,198 people who were seeking a HCP at their approved level, who had not yet been offered a HCP at 31 December 2022 – almost all of whom had been approved for the Commonwealth Home Support Program services (98 per cent).

Number and percentage of people not yet offered a HCP 31 December 2022 – Source: Home Care Packages Program Data Report 2nd Quarter 2022-23

While the December quarter saw a fall in the number of people waiting for a HCP at their approved level compared to the previous quarter, it also saw a reduction in the number of people offered an interim package, according to the Home Care Packages Program Data Report for July – September 2022 – which was also relased in March 2023.

Of the people waiting in the NPS for a HCP at their approved level at 30 September 2022, 8,583 people had been offered an interim HCP while waiting for a package at their approved level (19 per cent), while 35,460 were had not been offered one.

Estimated wait times for people entering the NPS as of 28 February 2023 were between one-to-three months across all four levels of care – ranging from basic to high level.

By year’s end, the 34-page report shows there were 938 approved HCP providers offering a home care service.

Number of approved HCP providers at 31 December 2022 – Source: Home Care Packages Program Data Report 2nd Quarter 2022-23

As of 31 December 2022, the average maximum exit fee charged by providers to clients withdrawing from their services was $113.

This home care data report will be the last to record exit fees as a ban on exit fees – along with caps on administration and management fees – came into effect on 1 January 2023.

First Nations peoples

There were 7,503 First Nations peoples in a HCP as of 31 December 2022 – an increase of 15 per cent (964) since 31 December 2021 (6,539). The 7,503 people accounted for just 3 per cent of the 235,599 people in a HCP.

Number of First Nations people in a HCP at 31 December 2022 –Source: Home Care Packages Program Data Report 2nd Quarter 2022-23

Also as of 31 December 2022, there were 839 First Nations peoples waiting for a HCP – a decrease of 47 per cent (735) since 31 December 2021 (1,574).

The report’s authors note that the number of First Nations peoples receiving a HCP or waiting for a HCP is proportionately less for their population size relative to the rest of the population.

This is attributed to First Nations peoples accessing alternative programs such as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program and Multi-Purpose Services for in-home care support.

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1 thought on “Home care waiting list drops, says report

  1. Hi there, I have completed study of certificate III in aged care/disbilty and now urgently seeking for a 120hr placement in Sydney. It’s been very difficult for me to find any nursing homes to provide placement, please help me to find a placement. I need to complete the placement by May 2023.
    Thanks you.

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