Consumer Directed Care Packaged Care
Consumer (or self) directed care (CDC) gives older people a greater say and more control over the design and delivery of community care services provided to them and their carers. The packages are identified as CDC packaged care (for care recipients) and Consumer Directed Respite Care (CDRC) for carers. CDC packaged care and CDRC allow older people and their carers to make choices about the types of care services they access and the delivery of those services, including who will deliver the services and when. Expected outcomes of the programs for both care recipients and carers include, a better quality of life due to increased independence and empowerment over the services they are receiving.
What is CDC Packaged Care?CDC packaged care places provide the care recipient and carer with greater control over the design and delivery of formal and informal care and services they receive.
There are three levels of subsidy for CDC Packaged Care places that depend on the assessed level of care to be provided. These three levels broadly align with the existing subsidy levels of the current Packaged Care programs, namely:
CDC Low Care - This level of care is similar to a CACP in that it will provide care services to people living in the community who have low level complex care needs. It may provide services such as personal care, social support, transport to appointments, home help, meal preparation and gardening.
CDC High Care - This level is similar to an EACH package in that it will provide care services to people living in the community who have high level complex care needs. It may provide services such as nursing, domestic assistance, in-home respite, personal care, transport to appointments, and social support.
CDC High Care Dementia - This level is similar to an EACHD package and will provide care services to people living in the community who have high level, complex care needs and also experience behaviours and symptoms associated with dementia that affect their ability to live independently.
The target group for CDC packages are care recipients who are frail, older people (70 years or over, or 50 years and over for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people), who would otherwise be eligible for low level or high level residential care.
How can I access a CDC package?To receive a CDC package, you must be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) as being eligible for CACP, EACH or EACHD. Information on ACAT information is available from doctors, hospitals and community centres, at the Aged Care Assessment Team information page or by phoning the Aged Care Information Line on 1800 500 853 or Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres on 1800 052 222. ACAT assessments are free of charge.
If your ACAT Assessment approves you as eligible for a community aged care package and you have expressed a preference to be cared for at home, the ACAT will refer you to a local approved provider who may offer you a CDC Packaged Care place if there is one available.
How is a CDC packaged arranged?When an approved provider accepts you, a package of services will be tailored to meet your assessed care needs. The approved provider will discuss the options available for meeting your care needs and a Care Recipient Agreement will be created. You, your family or representatives including your carer should be involved in developing a care plan with the approved provider, which details the services needed and who will provide them. This will also include the budget for the year in consultation with the provider. After you have agreed on your care, the approved provider will give you a copy of your Care Recipient Agreement and Care Plan setting out the care services you will receive.
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Who will provide CDC Packaged Care?Your CDC package of care will be provided and overseen by an approved provider in your State or Territory. When you have your ACAT assessment, the ACAT team will be able to provide you with information on approved providers available in your area. The individual services within an CDC package may be provided by a variety of service providers in your local area. Who will provide your care and when, is negotiated between you and your approved provider.
What help is available for CDC Packaged Care?The care available to you is dependent on the level of care for which you have been assessed as needing by the ACAT (low care, high care, high care dementia).
Examples of services available include nursing, personal care, domestic help, transport to appointments, and social support.
What is the subsidy rate for CDC packages and how much will I have to pay?Approved providers are paid a subsidy in respect of each allocated community or flexible care place for which there is an approved care recipient receiving care. A subsidy is a contribution towards the cost of providing care. Approved providers use the daily subsidy per package to supply and coordinate care services for frail older people.
The approved provider manages each care recipient's budget on behalf of the care recipient or carer. The provider will also give you monthly budget statements and pay the invoices for services you receive.
The subsidy amount depends on the nature of the care needs. There are three levels of subsidy depending on the assessed level of care to be provided.
The three CDC levels align with the existing package care programs' subsidy rates:
- CDC Low Care = Community Aged Care Programs (CACP)
- CDC High Care = Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH)
- CDC High Care Dementia = Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia
Administration Fee/ContingencyThe care recipient will negotiate with the approved provider an agreed portion of the CDC budget to be kept by the provider to cover administration costs and a small amount to cover contingencies. The amount should be transparent and agreed between the care recipient and the approved provider and depends on the level of administration provided.
Care Recipient ContributionCDC care recipients may be asked to contribute towards the cost of their care. Any fees being charged should be fully explained and the amount charged must be documented in the Care Recipient Agreement.
The fees policy for CDC packages aligns with that of the existing packaged care programs. More information regarding fees and how they are calculated is available on the Carer Contributions and Subsidies page. The amount should be transparent and agreed between the care recipient and the approved provider. Any fees being charged should be fully explained and the amount charged should be documented in the Care Recipient Agreement.
What quality of service can I expect?The Australian Government has specified standards for community packaged care programs, including CDC, by which approved providers, are required to meet to ensure that care recipients receive care of the highest quality. Recipients of CDC packages of care (or their representative) are entitled to:
- quality services that meet their assessed needs;
- where possible, their preferred level of social independence;
- access information about the care options available and the facts they need to make informed choices;
- access to details of the care being provided; and
- take part in developing a CDC package of care that best meets their needs.
What are my rights and responsibilities?On 1 October 2009 the Australian Government introduced the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Community Care (the Charter).
The Charter is a legal document that explains the rights of people receiving aged care services in the community, as well as their responsibilities, including their responsibilities towards care workers.
Copies of the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Community Care are available electronically on the Department of Health and Ageing website.
What if I have concerns?Your approved provider has been approved to provide your care after a rigorous selection process that investigated its ability to delivery quality care services to older Australians. Your approved provider is there to work through any concerns you may have and support you in receiving your care. In the first instance, you should discuss any concerns or uncertainties with your approved provider. If, after speaking with your approved provider, your problem has not been resolved, there are other support options that you may wish to access.
The Aged Care Complaints Scheme is a free and confidential service that is overseen by the Aged Care Commissioner, The Aged Care Complaints Scheme (the Scheme) investigates complaints and concerns about Australian Government-subsidised aged care including residential (hostel or nursing home) and community care. This Scheme is available to you, your family or your representative and can be contacted on 1800 550 552.
Recipients of CDC packages of care, their family and their representatives are also able to access advocacy services. Advocacy services help people find out what they are entitled to and promote care recipients' rights. More information on advocacy services can be found on the Aged Care Advocacy information page or by telephoning the National Aged Care Advocacy Line on 1800 700 600.
Evaluation of Consumer Directed CareCDC places are currently funded until 30 June 2012. The future of any further CDC funding and places is yet to be decided. Future Government policy decisions will take into account the evaluation of the Consumer Directed Care initiative, currently being undertaken by KPMG, on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, together with the Government's response to the Productivity Commission Report Caring for Older Australians.
Information on the evaluation is available at Consumer Directed Care Evaluation. Top of page
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