Aged Care Act 1997 Amendments
Amendments to the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act) and related legislation have been passed by the Parliament of Australia. Given the timing of the passage of the legislation and in order to ensure providers have sufficient time to adapt and implement the changes, the majority of changes that were planned for 1 July 2013 will commence from 1 August 2013. This includes establishing a new type of care, Home Care, and the introduction of two new levels of Home Care packages from 1 August 2013, with all new Home Care Packages offered on a Consumer Directed Care basis. New supplements including the Dementia and Cognition Supplement in Home Care, the Dementia and Severe Behaviours Supplement in Residential Care and the Veterans’ Supplement will be introduced from 1 August 2013. In addition, the Aged Care Commissioner will be provided with increased powers under the Aged Care Act 1997 from 1 August 2013. The Workforce Supplement will commence from 1 July 2013 for residential care and eligible multi-purpose services. For all other eligible programs it will commence on 1 August 2013. For further information about the legislative changes, see the Living Longer Living Better website http://www.livinglongerlivingbetter.gov.au/.
My Aged Care (the Aged Care Gateway)
1 July 2013 marked the launch of My Aged Care including the new My Aged Care website and national contact centre. My Aged Care (the Aged Care Gateway) will create an identifiable entry point to the aged care system and enable timely and reliable information to be accessed by older people, their families, and carers. It will provide information that is easily understood, and is appropriate and sensitive to the needs of the individual. The implementation of My Aged Care is being undertaken in stages, with the first stage being the implementation of the My Aged Care website and national contact centre from July 2013. As of 1 July 2013, older people, their families, and carers can access information about the aged care system and services through the:
My Aged Care website and the national contact centre
From 1 July 2013, older people, their families, and carers are able to access the My Aged Care website (www.myagedcare.gov.au) and the national contact centre (1800 200 422) for information about the aged care system and services.
Other features planned for 2014 include the introduction of a central client record, standardised assessment tools and a linking service targeting vulnerable people with multiple needs. To find out more, see the My Aged Care webpage on the Living Longer Living Better website (http://www.livinglongerlivingbetter.gov.au/).
Home and Community Care (HACC) transition to Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
From the 1 July 2015 the HACC program ceased and the CHSP commenced and will help frail, older people living in the community maximise their independence, by delivering timely, high quality entry level support services. It takes into account individual goals, preferences and choices. The CHSP also helps frail older people stay in their homes as long as they can and wish to, supports care relationships and is a streamlined entry to aged care.
The Regional Assessment Services (RAS) have commenced undertaking assessment for access to CHSP and all client and carer requests for care are directed through the My Aged Care gateway. Existing HACC clients will continue to be supported under the CHSP and should not notice any changes to the service they receive beyond becoming more empowered to make decisions about their care. To find out more, see the Department of Social Services website (https://www.dss.gov.au/ageing-and-aged-care/programs-services/commonwealth-home-support-programme)