Department demonstrates next phase of My Aged Care

Providers will have access to the My Aged Care provider portal next month to update service information and availability in anticipation of receiving electronic referrals from 1 July, but they need to prepare now, a departmental sector briefing has heard.

Providers will have access to the My Aged Care provider portal next month to update service information and availability in anticipation of receiving electronic referrals from 1 July, but they need to prepare now, a departmental sector briefing has heard.

Department of Social Services representatives outlined the next stage of enhancements to My Aged Care in Sydney yesterday in the first forum in a national roadshow and webinar tour.

Following the launch of a demonstration project in Bayside, Victoria in April, My Aged Care will feature three web-based portals, one each for clients, which will be accessed through myGov, assessors and providers, from 1 July.

The provider portal will be available from 30 April for organisations to self-manage service information, but they first need to obtain an AUSkey, which is a secure login required for business to participate in government online services, and submit their department-provided smart form by 17 April, the forum was told.

Stakeholders were given a demonstration of the new system, which My Aged Care contact centre, Regional Assessment Service (RAS), and Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) representatives will use to build on the same form to create a comprehensive client record.

All new clients or existing ones requiring reassessment in all states will take part in nationally consistent screening and assessment and be entered into the system from 1 July with the exception of home and community care clients in WA and Victoria.

Commonwealth Home Support Program providers will receive electronic referrals from 1 July from the My Aged Care contact centre and RAS, while residential and home aged care providers will start receiving electronic referrals when the ACAT in their local area has transitioned, which will take place from July to December 2015.

Assessors will use the assessor portal to manage referrals, conduct assessments, which can be done offline, refer clients to services, and review and update client records with support plan and assessment outcomes.

Service providers will use their portal to self-manage service information including availability as well as accept, reject or waitlist electronic referrals.

Craig Harris, manager of the access reform branch in DSS, said the waitlist was designed to be centrally hosted on My Aged Care but managed by service providers, and would for the first time give an accurate picture of unmet demand.

Service referrals will be either sent to services in order of preference if a client has any, broadcast to all suitable and available services if not, or given to the client via a referral code. Providers will be notified by an email with no identifying information when they have been sent a referral.

There was some anxiety in the audience that the electronic referral system would favour larger, well- resourced providers as the first provider to accept a referral receives the client.

However, the department said it would monitor the flow of referrals and the take up-time between a provider accepting a referral and providing services to that client.

The department also said it was also a reasonable expectation that all providers would have real-time access to emails to monitor incoming referrals.

Elsewhere from 1 July, and as announced by the government in November, non-government funded services will be listed on My Aged Care but assessors will not directly refer clients to these services through My Aged Care.

For the first time aged care service providers will have to give a reason for rejecting a service referral, which could shine a light on practices related to “cherry picking” clients.

The department said it was exploring how it could best use this information.

Support and future enhancements

A dedicated free-call helpline will be available for providers and assessors from 30 March to assist with the transition to the new system.

The department flagged the introduction of a guided search function to especially assist those with no knowledge of aged care service availability or delivery.

Other enhancements on the agenda include capabilities to support better electronic exchange of information between business and government and an interface between My Aged Care and hospital health record systems.

See the DSS aged care reform site for more information

Tags: acat, dss, my-aged-care, regional-assessment-services- RAS,

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