About Home Care Packages Program assurance reviews
Increasing numbers of Australians are choosing to remain in their own homes as they age. There is rising demand for home care services to support this choice.
We want to make sure that the maximum possible amount of the Australian Government's subsidy for home care packages directly supports older Australians to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.
To achieve this, we have an ongoing, annual risk-based program of reviews of home care package providers. The reviews help to deliver better value for older Australians and Australian taxpayers.
We are responsible for good program governance and integrity. We undertake program assurance reviews to:
- assure value for money for HCP care recipients
- drive unfair costs out of the system
- assure that providers use funds for the purposes approved by Parliament
- uplift providers’ program knowledge to support continuous improvement and delivery within the program requirements
- prevent and address fraud by identifying anomalies and sharp practice
- support better services for our older Australians.
This process is underpinned by the Home Care Packages Program Assurance Framework. The guiding document for the conduct of annual assurance activities is the Annual Assurance Plan. These documents are available below.
Officers trained in assurance reviews carry out the reviews.
The review process
Reviews began in October 2021. The first review focused on indirect and care management charges. We selected providers for review and gave support throughout the process. Each provider received a report in June 2022. We will monitor provider follow up action in accordance with review findings.
The Minister for Aged Care released a report on the outcomes of this review.
After the release of the report we hosted a webinar to share the key learnings and outcomes of the first HCP Program assurance review.
We have created a community of practice to support HCP providers. You will be able to engage with:
- the HCP Program Assurance Review team – to hear first-hand about findings and lessons learnt from program assurance reviews
- the review team – to bust ‘myths’ about the review process
- each other – to share program knowledge and better practices
- HCP Program and assurance review information.
All HCP providers are encouraged to join the community of practice. There is a simple sign-up process at HCP Program Assurance Community of Practice
Tools for HCP care recipients
Tools to assist care recipients to compare provider charges are available on the My Aged Care website.
A factsheet is also available to help care recipients understand how to get the best value for money from their HCP. The factsheet also provides instructions on how to use My Aged Care to compare providers.
The next round of reviews commenced in September 2022.
Pricing transparency review
This review will check that all current HCP Providers’ pricing is available on the My Aged Care website.
Unspent funds review
This review will assure the accuracy of the reported amount of Commonwealth portion of unspent funds of selected providers, including selected care recipients.
The Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response No. 1) Act 2021 came into effect on 1 July 2021. This allows us to compel providers to participate in program assurance reviews when invited and supports publishing of review findings. See Part 6.8 of the Act.