Managing Continuity of Support Programme services
As a Continuity of Support (CoS) Programme service provider, you have certain management responsibilities. These include conducting annual reviews, telling us about certain changes and having plans for service continuity and emergency management.
When you become a CoS service provider, you will enter into a new funding agreement with the Department of Health.
The funding agreement must include:
- CoS Programme Terms and Conditions
- CoS Programme Guidelines
- CoS Programme Manual
- the grant schedule
- the services you are delivering
- any extra conditions
As a CoS Programme service provider, you must meet all the requirements of your funding agreement.
An annual review is a check of the services your client is receiving from you. The review looks at whether your client’s services are still suitable.
All CoS clients must have an annual review of current services (or more frequently if required). You do the review and the review process must:
- include the client (and their carer, advocate or nominee)
- check that the services and supports are meeting the client’s needs and goals
Where support needs are stable, the review can be a brief discussion with the client over the phone.
If you don’t have the expertise to do the review, you can purchase or subcontract one from:
- another CoS Programme service provider
- a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) accredited provider
Client budgets must not be affected if you need to purchase a review.
How to fund the review
If you’re a block-funded service provider, you pay for the review from your existing CoS funding.
If you’re an ISP provider, you pay for the review from either:
- the administration part of your funding
- the administration fee the client pays you
If you can’t pay for the annual review you can apply for one-off (per client) annual review funding. You can get an application form from the Department of Health or your Funding Agreement Manager.
If approved, you can then buy the review at a cost of up to $500 per client. We will refund you this cost in your next funding agreement payment.
In the future, we expect you to make your own arrangements for all reviews. You can do this by:
- staff development
- partnering with other organisations
What does the review cover?
You must look at whether the services the client is receiving are continuing to meet their needs. Do not reassess their ongoing eligibility for services.
What happens after the review?
You and the client must discuss the result of the review, and any changes to their services.
For ISP clients, any change to their services must be within their budget. You and the client must also reflect any changes in the ISP service agreement.
If the review results in a referral to My Aged Care, we will help you with the process.
What if the client doesn’t agree with the review?
If a client doesn't agree with the result of the review, you should discuss this with them.
If you can’t come to an agreement, clients can use the complaint processes outlined in your funding agreement.
To help conduct reviews, you have access to the National Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National).
For more information on annual reviews, read chapter 3.3 of the CoS Programme Manual.
Over time, a client’s needs can change. If this happens, you must review the services your client receives. You may need to change the services to meet their new needs.
A client’s services may also change because they are:
- moving to aged care
- suspending services
- exiting the program
For more information on changing services, read chapter 3 of the CoS Programme Manual.
A client transfer is when a person receiving CoS Programme services changes service providers.
This can happen under both sub-programs.
A transfer of services can happen for various reasons. These include:
- the client chooses to change providers
- the client moves to an area their current provider does not cover
- the service provider can no longer offer the services the client needs
All client transfers should involve:
- your Funding Agreement Manager
- the client’s carer, advocate or nominee
If you are the current service provider, you need to:
- have a process in place for the transfer of clients
- let your clients know about their right to change providers
- advise your Funding Agreement Manager of your client’s new provider
- make sure the new provider is able to accept them as a client
For more on what to do when transferring a client, read chapter 3 of the CoS Programme Manual.
Clients exit the CoS Programme when they:
- choose to exit
- have a change in their needs, and additional support options are not available
- don’t need CoS Programme services anymore
- have not used CoS Programme services for over 12 months
- are an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander client and become eligible for the NDIS
- pass away
When a client permanently exits the CoS Programme, you need to advise your Funding Agreement Manager in writing within 14 days of the client exiting.
Once your Funding Agreement Manager receives notice of an exiting client, your future payments will be reduced. This will happen from the quarter following notice.
Once the client has exited, you must:
- make sure that any payments for services to this client have stopped
- update your next Activity Work Plan
You can keep any funds left over from the date the client exits and the quarter the funding stops for use with your remaining clients.
The process for exiting a client is outlined in Chapter 3.9 of the CoS Programme Manual and in your funding agreement.
CoS Programme service providers have to report on any tasks, activities, services or other purposes described in your funding agreement.
Your funding agreement tells you when you have to submit your reports.
For more on reporting, read Chapter 5.10 of the CoS Programme Manual.
Notification of changes
All CoS service providers must tell us when certain things happen. This includes:
- transferring a client to another CoS provider
- if you plan to stop providing CoS services
- any changes to your client’s level of service
- if a client stops receiving services for longer than 3 months
- when a client permanently exits the CoS Programme
All information on what notifications you need to make will be in your funding agreement.
Service continuity and emergency management
As a CoS service provider you must do whatever you can to make sure your clients continue to receive CoS Programme services. This includes having the correct plans in place for:
- emergency situations
- if you are stopping providing services
For more on service continuity and emergency management, read Chapter 5 of the CoS Programme Manual.