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In-home care reform – what you can expect

A new government-subsidised in-home support model is scheduled for mid-next year. What that may look like is becoming clearer. 

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  • Finance
  • Read Time: 4 mins

Key points

  • In-home aged care is being reformed into one new program.
  • The government has released a reform Discussion Paper with key services reforms and priorities.
  • You can provide feedback on the paper and contribute to the reform.

In-home aged care supports about 1 million older Australians and ranges from transport and house cleaning to clinical care, such as nursing and allied health.

Most people want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, so services must be accessible and effective in supporting their independence.  

The current in-home aged care system

There are four government-funded programs:

  • Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) provides entry-level services to support older Australians with daily living.
  • Home Care Packages (HCP) assist older Australians with more complex care needs to live independently and safely at home.
  • Short-term Restorative Care (STRC) helps older Australians to manage and adapt to their changing aged care needs.
  • Residential respite enables older Australians to stay at an aged care home for a brief time. Respite can be organised in advance and available in unexpected situations.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety found the current in-home aged care system needed improvement, especially in these areas:

  • Wait times for care are too long.
  • Program arrangements are confusing.
  • Administration fees are too high.
  • Services are not always well-targeted.
  • Older Australians do not always get the help they need to support their independence.

Long wait times are now common as older people die or move into aged care while on the wait list for home care.

Government reform of in-home care

Have your say

The federal government wants to hear from the people who use and deliver these services to help inform and develop a new In-Home Aged Care program and the questions raised in the discussion paper. You can have your say using the online form, uploading a written submission or by calling 1800 318 209.

Submissions are open until 25 November 2022, online or over the phone. Early submissions received by 31 October will be shaped by further consultation in November.

The government is developing a new in-home aged care program beginning on 1 July 2024. It says people supported through existing Commonwealth-funded aged care programs will not lose any existing services under the new program.

In the recently released Discussion Paper, the government says the new in-home aged care program should:

  • Be simple to access and understand with one assessment process.
  • Give people timely access to the safe and high-quality services they need.
  • Give people choice and control in determining the services they receive.
  • Have fair and transparent fees that direct funds to delivering high-quality care.
  • The government wants the program to be a one-assessment process that gives older people choice and control in determining the services they receive, with fair and transparent fees.

The discussion paper outlines five areas of focus, including a potential new model:

  • Making in-home aged care simple and easy for older Australians to self-manage their care with more choice and control over services.
  • Redefining the role of care partners in delivering best practice care management, ensuring they provide clinical oversight and monitoring for older Australians to respond to changing needs.
  • Meeting the full costs of care while achieving value for money by improving funding arrangements and quality assurance with a new funding model.
  • Flexibly respond to changing needs of older Australians by improving the assessment process with a new assessment tool and classification system.
  • Fostering innovation and future investment in In-Home Aged Care by implementing the new quality indicators and star ratings.  

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