Department considering fate of proposed in-home payment platform

The department is now looking at how to enhance existing systems to facilitate payments under in-home aged care reforms.

The Department of Health and Aged Care is looking at how to enhance existing systems to facilitate payments under in-home aged care reforms instead of developing a new payment platform.

The department was exploring the option of a payment platform to support older Australians to plan, self-manage and move easily between providers. The proposed platform aimed to enable the payment and reporting of government subsidies and client contributions, with an option for client bookings.

The department ran an online survey in September – completed by the operations, service delivery, accounting and finance teams of 248 Home Care Packages and Commonwealth Home Support Program providers – to gain insights into current processes and identify features for any future payment arrangements.

According to the department’s feedback published last month, respondents raised concerns about:

  • enhancing integrations with current government portals
  • the impact of subcontracting and brokered services on invoices and payments
  • the perceived need to increase administrative staff to help manage the service delivery data requirements
  • poor uptake by care recipients of the digital offerings.

“We have heard your concerns and feedback,” the department said. “The department is now considering how existing systems could be enhanced to facilitate payments under in-home aged care reforms, without the need for a new payment platform.”

Snapshot of findings

The survey found that providers use a wide range of internal systems to manage care recipient and service delivery information, with no industry-wide preference for any particular system or software.

And while the majority of current providers’ systems allow data to be updated and available in real-time, most providers prefer to submit data monthly.

It also found that booking services are linked to each provider’s requirements for rostering and staffing management, making online bookings by consumers difficult.

The most common response to a question on the key features of a new government invoicing platform was that any new system should integrate with an organisation’s current system. “It would be difficult for many providers to take up a new system because their existing systems are rooted in how their business operates,” according to the feedback.

For almost three-quarters of respondents, providers received payment of subsidies from Services Australia within five business days, while the most popular methods for collecting client contribution are direct debit and credit/debit card or cheque.

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Tags: aged-care-reform, Department of Health and Aged Care, in-home aged care reform, payment system,

1 thought on “Department considering fate of proposed in-home payment platform

  1. Unenterprising response from providers! Present systems are clunky but please no effort to improve ourselves!

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