Existing home support clients with complex or high needs will be grandfathered from 1 July 2015, when the new Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) launches, until they transition to more appropriate services, Australian Ageing Agenda can confirm.
The continuation of services to this cohort was a major concern raised in submissions to the Department of Social Services’ discussion paper being used to inform the final design of the CHSP.
The National Aged Care Alliance had advised the department to grandfather existing clients or to make available additional home care packages to support their higher needs.
While it did not confirm the number of clients likely to be affected, the department told AAA: “It is proposed that from 1 July 2015, existing clients who do not fit the CHSP eligibility criteria will continue to receive the same support from their current provider until they transition to more appropriate forms of care.”
It is less than seven months until the launch of the CHSP, which combines the existing Home and Community Care (HACC) program, National Respite for Carers Program (NRCP) and the Day Therapy Centres program into a nationally-consistent streamlined program, on 1 July 2015.
Current home support service providers and clients can expect further detail on the transition arrangements to the new CHSP in the coming weeks, but the manual and guidelines detailing the final design of the program are still months away, the department has told AAA.
The department also confirmed that the My Aged Care Regional Assessment Services (RAS) will provide short-term case management, and older people in the community requiring ongoing or long-term case management will need to progress to a home care package.
Case management will be discontinued as service provided under the CHSP.
However, the department said it was still working to identify and address any potential service gaps that may be created in the transition to the RAS undertaking assessments, case management and client care coordination also from 1 July.
“This includes investigating whether some services should be reclassified to direct service delivery under the CHSP,” the department said.
The RAS will provide two types of short-term case management to CHSP clients, according to DSS.
After a client is assessed by the RAS, they may receive short-term assistance as part of their support plan including help with appropriate service referrals, while clients assessed as being vulnerable due to complex circumstances may receive short-term case management as part of linking service support.
Despite concerns raised by stakeholders, clients assessed and waiting for a home care package will only receive a “basic level of support” as provided under the CHSP.
Industry submissions had described this arrangement as counterproductive and said clients should not be disadvantaged because of limited availability of packages.
For extensive coverage of the new Commonwealth Home Support Program, don’t miss AAA’s new Community Care Review publication, coming in January 2015. Click here to sign up for a complimentary subscription.