A system navigator, streamlined assessment and further improvements to My Aged Care are among measures announced in this week’s budget to improve timely access to services.
The face-to-face navigator and outreach service announced by the government on Tuesday implements a key recommendation of the Tune Review to help older people struggling to understand the aged care system.
As part of the $7.4 million budget measure, the government will trial four programs:
- 30 aged care information hubs providing locally-targeted information to consumers
- 20 community hubs where members support each other in navigating aged care
- Six full-time specialists in consumer-focused organisations to offer one-on-one support for vulnerable people
- Six full-time aged care Financial Information Support Officers in the Department of Human Services to support people with complex financial decision-making.
The Federal Government will also design and implement a streamlined assessment framework to be delivered by a new national assessment workforce from 2020. A key aim will be to improve the timeliness and efficiency of aged care assessments, including to those in rural and remote areas, the government said.
The $14.8 million framework will be developed by groups across the aged care sector, including aged care service providers, consumers and existing assessment workforce organisations.
The government will also improve the functionality and information available on the My Aged Care website at a cost of $61.7 million, the budget papers show.
Shorter means-testing forms
A budget-neutral taskforce will be established from July 2018 to create a simpler means-testing form for consumers with straightforward financial affairs. The new financial assessment form will be implemented by May 2019, the government said.
The new taskforce will also make recommendations on simplifying the means-testing forms and process for all aged care consumers, including consumers with complex financial affairs.
The taskforce will consist of representatives of consumer groups, aged care providers and financial advisors and will report back to the government by the end of 2018.
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