Home Care Packages Program Reforms

Our reforms have included the 2017 Increasing Choice in Home Care reforms, a change to consumer directed care and income testing. These changes have helped to make sure Home Care Packages continue to meet the needs of older Australians.

What has changed?

Our reforms of the Home Care Packages Program ensure it continues to meet the home care needs of older Australians.

Recent reforms

Our more recent reforms include the following:

  • Improving home care pricing information
    From 1 July 2019, home care providers must publish their pricing information on the My Aged Care website.
  • Introducing the Home Care Packages Program data reports
    These quarterly reports provide an update on the Home Care Packages Program. They include statistics on assessment, approvals, services and people waiting for services.

Increasing Choice in Home Care reforms

These reforms took effect in 2017 and included the following:

  • Packages assigned to individuals instead of providers
    This means older Australians can choose which provider to give their package funding to. They can also take any unspent funding with them if they change home care providers.
  • One national priority system
    This means there is now a nationally consistent process for assigning Home Care Packages. People don’t have to go on waiting lists with multiple providers in their area — we prioritise people based on individual needs and how long they’ve been waiting.
  • Less paperwork for providers
    Because packages are assigned to individuals, providers don’t have to apply for package places through approval rounds.

You can find out more about the Increasing Choice in Home Care reforms on the National Library Web Archive.

Older reforms

Since 2015, all Home Care Packages have been consumer directed.

This means that older Australians work with their provider to design their Home Care Packages. They have more choice over the services they receive, how and when they receive them and who provides them.

Find out more about consumer directed care.

In 2014, we introduced income testing for Home Care Packages. This means that older Australians help to pay for the cost of their care if they can afford to.

Find out more about income assessment for Home Care Packages.

What’s next?

We are continuing to implement reforms and look at the future direction of the Home Care Packages Program, to better support older Australians.

In 2017, we held a public consultation on an integrated care at home program. During this consultation, we received over 300 submissions from consumers, carers, providers, peak bodies and others. View a summary report of the submissions.

This work builds on the webinars and public consultation on the Increasing Choice reforms held in 2015. We received around 100 submissions from service providers, peak bodies, consumer advocates and others.

In November 2019, the Government announced that we are starting work on redefining aged care at home. A single unified system will:

  • replace the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and the Home Care Packages Program
  • deliver timely and tailored care for older Australians

We are now working to:

  • build a greater understanding of the services currently being delivered in the home under CHSP and Home Care Packages
  • undertake a study and analysis of how best to support senior Australians to stay at home

We will provide an update to the sector in early 2020.

As we consider future reforms, we are mindful of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

What research has been done?

We commission reports by experts to help us identify problems and work out solutions.

In 2016, we commissioned provider and consumer research about changes in home care. This helped us to understand how:

  • the Increasing Choice reforms may affect providers and people receiving home care
  • consumer directed care is working for Home Care Packages

In 2014, we commissioned an evaluation of the Home Care Packages Program and a policy issues paper.

Who benefits?

Older people benefit from more choice and control over their aged care.

The 2018 Home Care Packages Program Research Report showed that people receiving Home Care Packages were satisfied with their services, with:

  • 85% being satisfied with the standard of services
  • 68% feeling that moving providers had become easier since the 2017 reforms
  • 65% being satisfied with the funding for packages

Contact

Aged care reforms contact

Email us if you have any questions about Home Care Packages Program reforms.

agedcarereformenquiries [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
22 January 2020
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