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Consultation opens on next stage of community aged care reform

The Federal Government has released a public discussion paper seeking sector feedback on the move to an integrated care at home program.

As part of the consultation, stakeholders are also encouraged to share their views on the recent changes to home care packages introduced on 27 February.

Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said no decisions had been made on further reform of the community aged care system and the government wanted to hear the views of the sector and the community.

The paper seeks feedback on a range of policy options to improve the community aged care system including:

  • the introduction of an integrated assessment workforce
  • the introduction of a new home care package higher than Level 4
  • changing the mix of home care packages available at each level or reconfiguring current package levels
  • reforming the current mix of individualised and block funding
  • introducing short-term intensive restorative interventions before the need for ongoing support is assessed
  • providing additional supports to consumers to facilitate informed choice.

The government said it was likely to consider decisions about future reform in the first half of 2018, following sector consultation and the release of the Aged Care Legislated Review.

In the May 2015 Budget, the Coalition Government announced its intention to consolidate the Home Care Packages program and the Commonwealth Home Support Program into a single home care system from July 2018.

However, little progress had been made towards achieving that objective and in this year’s Budget the Turnbull Government announced a $5.5 billion extension of existing CHSP contracts and My Aged Care Regional Assessment Services for two years until mid-2020.

The consultation is open for six weeks, with submissions closing on 21 August.

To download the discussion paper and make a submission, click here.

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