COAG Health Services - Improving Arrangements for Aged Care Assessments and Access to Home and Community Care Services

A $24.2 million measure will improve the capacity of Aged Care Assessment teams to carry out their important work in determining the care needs older Australians and assisting them to access the care and accommodation they need, both in residential and community settings.

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

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Why are these changes important?

  • Aged Care Assessment Teams assess the care needs of frail older people and assist them to find the most appropriate care for their needs. They are the gatekeepers to Commonwealth-subsidised aged care services.
  • Strengthened performance management of Aged Care Assessment Teams will be introduced to ensure more timely, consistent and accountable assessments of frail older people. Current arrangements for accessing Home and Community Care (HACC) services can be inconsistent across services and confusing for people who need services.
  • Access to the Home and Community Care programme will be improved through joint work with the states and territories to simplify entry and improve eligibility and assessment processes.
  • These changes were agreed by the Council of Australian Governments which requires these initiatives to be implemented by December 2007.

Who will benefit?

  • Frail older people, people with disabilities and people leaving hospital will benefit from these initiatives.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • This measure forms part of the Government’s contribution to the COAG Health Services package, as announced on 10 February 2006.
  • The Government will provide new funding of $24.2 million over five years (including $0.1 million in 2005-06) to improve assessments by Aged Care Assessment Teams.

What have we done in the past?

  • The initiative will build on the streamlining of arrangements across community care being developed through A New Approach to Community Care - The Way Forward, and the work to improve waiting times for assessments by Aged Care Assessment Teams.

When will the initiatives conclude?

  • These initiatives will be reviewed in the 2010-11 Budget.

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