New Aged Care Assessment Arrangements
New aged care assessment arrangements will provide streamlined consumer assessment for access to aged care services from April 2021. Improved processes will mean older Australians get the care they need sooner.
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What will change?
The new aged care assessment arrangements will provide a better experience for older Australians. This means ensuring access to the right services to meet their care needs sooner.
Under the new arrangements, a single assessment workforce and a network of assessment organisations will assess eligibility for access to all government-funded aged care services. The new single assessment workforce will replace the two current assessment workforces:
- the Regional Assessment Service (RAS)
- Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs)
The new arrangements will also provide simpler and more convenient pathways to My Aged Care and a greater focus on reablement and linking support.
What are assessments?
Before someone can access government-funded aged care services, they need to be assessed. An assessment works out:
- a person’s care needs
- the types of care and services a person may be eligible for
Why is this important?
Every year, more than 400,000 assessments are done for home support services, home care packages and residential care.
The current process can be complex and inefficient. Some people need more than one assessment to work out their aged care needs.
The new arrangements will help people connect to care sooner. It will also stop older people needing multiple assessments depending on the aged care programs they are eligible for.
When will the new arrangements take effect?
The new arrangements will start from April 2021. Current assessment services provided by the Regional Assessment Service and Aged Care Assessment Teams will continue until the new arrangements start.
Who will benefit?
The new arrangements will benefit more older Australians who seek an aged care assessment each year. By having a quicker assessment, people will be able to access the care that is right for them sooner.
This is especially important for people who:
- live in rural and remote areas
- have complex care needs
Who have we consulted?
We have consulted with groups across the aged care sector to develop the new arrangements, including:
- aged care service providers
- aged care peak bodies
- existing assessment organisations (Regional Assessment Services and Aged Care Assessment Teams)
- state and territory governments
- other interested stakeholders
Who will deliver assessment services?
A new single assessment workforce will deliver assessment services under the new arrangements. The new workforce will comprise a network of assessment organisations. These organisations will be selected through a national tender process. The tender process will happen in 2020.
Will there be any changes to the aged care services that clients can access?
Once assessed and approved for care by the new assessment workforce, clients will continue to be able to access the same government-funded aged care services. These include Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) services, Home Care Packages and residential care.
Will clients have to pay for an assessment?
Aged care assessments will continue to be provided free of charge to clients under the new arrangements.
How do these changes align with the work of the Royal Commission into the aged care sector?
The Royal Commission has heard from stakeholders and consumers about their concerns with the current aged care assessment process. In its October 2019 interim report, the Royal Commission:
- noted these concerns
- supported the recommendation of the 2017 Legislated Review of Aged Care to integrate the current assessment workforces.
The Royal Commission will monitor this work.
Find out more
For updates about the new aged care assessment arrangements subscribe to the aged care e-newsletter.
To be notified about upcoming webinars, please subscribe to the aged care e-newsletter.
A webinar will be held on 12 February 2020. This webinar will provide an update on the development of the new arrangements and address common themes arising from stakeholder questions around the arrangements.
Watch a recording of the webinar on the new assessment arrangements held on 11 December 2019.