There is an extensive amount of activity associated with the implementation of the Home Care Packages (HCP) Program currently. Key items for HCP providers to note include:

Home Care Price Publishing Requirements

The Department of Health released additional advice to approved home care providers last week to support them in uploading pricing information into My Aged Care in response to teething problems. Members should review this advice to ensure current price publishing arrangements in My Aged Care ensure legislative compliance. Issues can be emailed to homecarepricing@health.gov.au.

Members are also reminded in response to engaging with home care package consumers (new and existing) that transition procedures should account for consumer engagement with updated services agreements and reference to:

Management of unspent funds on consumer exit from a home care package

A reminder that if a client ceases care with your organisation under a Home Care Package, their unspent home care amount (less any exit fees) needs to be either:

  • Transferred to the client’s new home care provider if the client is changing providers; or
  • Returned to the Commonwealth and the client (or their estate) if the client leaves home care (for example if they have entered permanent residential aged care or passed away).

LASA has generated a flow chart to assist Members understand their legislative responsibilities for managing unspent funds on consumer exit from a home care package. If a provider does not comply with these requirements, the department may take appropriate compliance action as outlined in the legislation. Members should note that unspent home care amounts are not required to be calculated if the client is transferring between home care services of the same approved provider.

Home Care Package Program Manual

The Department of Health has engaged KPMG to assist with the development of two Home Care Package Program Manuals, one for providers and one for consumers, due for finalisation in coming months. A voluntary survey was conducted in May to which 1,171 responses were received from providers. Responses have helped inform a draft Manual and the approach to consultation which is currently underway using workshop methodology. Three key domains have been explored during the workshops:

  • Inclusions and exclusions of a Home Care Package
  • Fees
  • Presentation, format and structure of the Manual.

New approved provider application forms

New application forms and guidelines for organisations seeking approval to provide residential, home and/or flexible care are now available for use. The new forms contain questions specific to the Aged Care Quality Standards which take effect from 1 July 2019.

If your organisation is applying for approval to provide residential care, home care or flexible care, you must use the relevant new application form. There are different forms for:

  1. new applicants,
  2. existing approved providers, and
  3. government organisations.

All three forms allow organisations to be approved for one or more types of care:

  • residential care,
  • home care, and
  • flexible care (in the form of short-term restorative care).

Applicants should read the guidance information in conjunction with the application forms and must use the approved form that is current at the time of applying.

LASA Home Care Webinar – Supporting Quality Person Centred End-Of-Life Care At Home

This insightful webinar, scheduled from 1.30pm – 2.30pm (AEST) on Wednesday 31 July, has been specifically designed to assist home care providers providing end-of-life care to clients. The webinar is complimented by a suite of free resources, produced by the national caring@home project, that can be used to promote quality, person-centred end-of-life care to people who wish to be cared for and to die at home if possible.