Aged Care Reform 27-Feb-2017 - Are They Ready?
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
There are massive changes and reforms coming for the ‘Aged Care System’. They have been in progress since 2015. One of the most significant changes is the portability of Home Care Packages amongst Approved Aged Care Providers. This will allow customers to receive the care they need, wherever they are, instead of being limited by allocations within service provider organisations and their funded regions.
The guidelines have been released for some time, giving service providers ample time to make the necessary adjustments to policies and procedures. With the portability changes taking place in just over a month, the question remains: Are Home Care organisations ready to provide services according to these new transparent guidelines, which place the customer at the centre of their care, both in theory and in practice?
There has been an influx of requests for organisations applying to become Approved Aged Care Providers since the Aged Care Reform announcement. The entrance of new service providers has stimulated the market to innovate and hopefully drive the cost of service provision down. This in turn will reduce government expenditure and increase the quality of care customers receive.
The requirements to provide services are straightforward in concept. However, they may not be as easy to implement in day-to-day service delivery. It will be interesting to see how Home Care organisations innovate to deliver services and meet the new requirements to provide home care packages. Consumer Directed Care (CDC) compliance includes the provider providing transparency, portability and choice for their customers.
To assist customers choosing a home care provider, a few due diligence questions will help ascertain if the organisation is ready to meet the new guidelines.
- Does the services have the necessary organisational partnerships in place to provide holistic services which will include nursing, allied health services, home modifications, consumables and assistive technology?
- Can these in house or outsourced services be documented and accurately communicated to the customers through their monthly statements, accounting for the expenditure of their funds?
- Do the services have the necessary case management, clinical staff expertise and frameworks to service clients with complex needs?
- What experience do they have in providing these services? What are the qualifications of their staff members?
- Do all the frontline staff and care workers know the changes to guidelines and understand how the way they provide services is determined by the consumers choice?
The new model of care provides greater choice, flexibility and care for consumers. It aims to facilitate individualised care, which is transparent and controlled by the consumer.
The challenge will be for organisations to manage the implementation of the concept into practical ways of delivering care to their consumers. This transition will not be without its challenges and in the months to come, it will become clear which organisations have successfully transitioned their models of care to truly be consumer directed care.
Should you need guidance or support to navigate care, feel free to contact DR Care Solutions and speak with Danielle Robertson.