How to become an Approved Home Care Provider
You can enter the home care market in Australia in the following ways:
- Establish your own a private home care agency – no licence is required
- Purchase a home care agency franchise
- Become a government approved home care provider
No licence or government approval is required to provide private home care services, except those requirements of general businesses under the Corporations Act. Over 80 per cent of disability and home care services are government funded, which is why many businesses apply to become a government approved home care provider.
An approved home care provider operates within the Aged Care Act 1997. Providers are required to safely, efficiently and sustainably run their business meeting regulatory and aged care compliance standards, mitigate and manage corporate and healthcare risks, and establish policies, procedures and systems for providing inclusive, safe and quality care services.
Many established and new entrants to the home care market offer subcontracted in-home care services to Approved Providers of Home Care. Brokering service delivery to home care agencies is widely used in the sector.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission reviews and approves applications and provides clear guidance to applicants on becoming an Approved Provider. It is essential that you understand this information in order to be aware of your obligations.
The upfront investment required in setting up a government approved home care service is significant, as your business must be able to demonstrate how it is suitable to provide aged care. The Commission expects you to be fully ready to service clients when you apply, which means a lot of upfront costs in preparing business plans, identifying key personnel, purchasing systems to manage quality, finance and client information and care services, policies and processes, when there is no guarantee of your application being approved.
LASA does not write home care provider applications as the Commission expectats providers to write their own application. The Commission voiced frustration at the Royal Commission about applicants using consultants and showing insufficient understanding of the requirements to be an Approved Provider.
It is important that the application form is an assessment of your skills, knowledge and competency to manage a business providing services to frail, elderly people often with significant health conditions, comorbidities and safety risks. The application form is a process that takes applicants through an understanding of these requirements. For a fee, LASA can review draft applications and provide advice on gaps in meeting the requirements of an Approved Provider of Home Care. We offer no guarantee that your application will be accepted.
Other ways LASA can support your application are:
- LASA Membership will provide you with ready access to our aged care expert advisory service – including residential care, home care, independent living/retirement villages and employment relations. Regular communications and information on events from LASA will keep you informed.
- LASA Strategic Planning Consultancy Service will assist you to define your business strategy, articulate your vision, mission and values, prioritise objectives and optimise financial performance, leading to innovation and business sustainability.
- LASA off-the-shelf Policies and Processes will guide you in establishing a home care business compliant to safety and quality requirements of the Aged Care Quality Standards.
- LASA Home Care Pricing Tool – will provide you with an understanding of your cost variables and income streams and set you on course for developing an effective and profitable pricing strategy.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission publishes a quarterly report on quality performance outcomes for the sector, including approved provider applications.
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