The Home Care Packages Program has been the subject of significant reform to ensure that the Program evolves to meet the care needs of our older Australians.

Australians are living longer and healthier lives and it is important that as people age, they have a choice about their care.

Home Care Package Reform - Gratis Home Care
Home Care Package Reform – Gratis Home Care

Consumer-directed care

On 1 July 2015, it became mandatory for all home care packages to be delivered to a consumer-directed care (CDC) basis.  CDC gives consumers greater choice over the types of care and services they access, how and when those services are delivered and by whom.  It also gives consumers more control over their funds for their care and how those funds are spent.

The Australian Government released the Charter of Care Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities – Home Care to ensure that consumers were aware of the Government’s expectation that delivery of home care package services must be achieved through an equal partnership between consumer and provider.

Increasing Choice in Home Care

The Australian Government announced significant reforms to home care in 2015 16 Budget under the Increasing Choice in Home Care.  One change was to improve access to home services and allow older Australians to choose who provides their care.

The first stage of the Increasing Choice in Home Care measure was implemented on 27 February 2017.

From 27 February 2017, all home care packages have been provided to individual consumers rather than the previous method where home care packages were awarded to approved providers under an allocation process.

This change now gives consumers the ability to choose their provider and to direct the Government subsidy to that provider.  This means that consumers can change their provider if they wish, including if they move to another area to live.

Increasing Choice also introduced a national prioritisation process for access to home care.  The national prioritisation process means a fairer, national way of allocating home care based on people’s individual needs and circumstances and the time they have waited for care.

These changes are an important step in moving towards a future aged care system that is more:

  • consumer-driven
  • market-based
  • less regulated.

The changes also lay the platform for future aged care reforms, which will be guided by the Aged Care Sector Committee Roadmap for Reform and jointly developed with the sector.

Contact

Specific enquiries about reform of the Home Care Package Program can be directed to agedcarereformenquiries@health.gov.au.