Home care management faces ‘fundamental change’

The care manager’s role is going to involve more clinical oversight once the home care sector reforms come into play, a sector insider has told Australian Ageing Agenda.

The care manager’s role is going to involve more clinical oversight once the home care sector reforms come into play, a sector insider has told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Steve Neal

“It’s going to be a specialised area. It’s not just about having background knowledge of a social worker or a registered nurse – it’s about understanding geriatric conditions. And also the linkage between geriatric conditions so you can actually have some prediction on the care needs going forward,” said Steve Neal – head of clinical and leadership programs for aged care consultants LPA.

He added: “It might not be required that we’ll need every single care manager to have to have a clinical qualification – that’s just not a practicality – but there may have to be a clinical person that can be referred to within an organisation.”

Providers will need to structure their client assessment process in a way that enables non-clinicians to be able to ask the right questions said Mr Neal “and be led down a path towards the right referral process or the right information-sharing process. That’s how care management will change – that’s going to be the biggest, fundamental change.”

Providers will also need to know the risks and vulnerabilities of their clients said Mr Neal. “How do you assess those risks and vulnerabilities and then how do you mitigate those risks with the customers to try and make sure they’re safe.”

Mr Neal told AAA there will also need to be greater awareness of who is involved in the provision of the client’s care.

“Whether that’s the next-door neighbour taking out the bins, or the daughter coming round to do the medication. Who is the GP, what are the clinical services they’re getting, and who has that role? So the care manager of the future becomes a project manager – making sure that they know who is in that village and who is providing that support in that village for that person so that there is no confusion as to what is going on.”

AAA spoke with Mr Neal at an industry training event hosted by LPA in Sydney this week. The two-day workshop – called Providing Clinical Care and Care Management in the Home – is designed to walk providers through the myriad of changes that are taking place within the sector.

Whilst the home care reforms – due to kick in from July 2025 – are varied and complex, Mr Neal said providers are gradually becoming more prepared for the change of landscape. “They’re getting there. The change of standards, the change of the Aged Care Act, the reform process – especially the governing reform process – are starting to wake a lot of the providers up.”

Mr Neal told AAA that those providers who aren’t prepared for the reforms will need to begin structuring their businesses accordingly. “It’s coming; it’s going to happen.”

Some of the changes are already here said Mr Neal. “The SIRS has kicked off; improved payments have kicked off a bit. But now there are fundamental changes on the way, which is why people have to structure their organisations and this has therefore started to make that change real.”

Australian Ageing Agenda is a media partner of LPA’s national workshop series Providing Clinical Care and Care Management in the Home

Comment on the story below. Follow Australian Ageing Agenda on FacebookX (Twitter) and LinkedIn, sign up to our twice-weekly newsletter and subscribe to AAA magazine for the complete aged care picture.  

Tags: care management, home care, LPA, Steve Neal,

4 thoughts on “Home care management faces ‘fundamental change’

  1. How very sad it is to see the older population treated with so much disrespect. What has happened to privacy? There is nothing wrong with the old system, there just needs to be better governance and accountability for providers.

  2. I see some great reforms coming. My (former) provider wanted to railroad my father into accepting their proposal even though it meant not getting a choice in the matter. I said NO and left them. Now to the next hurdle – finding a new provider. Not the easiest journey to undertake.

  3. I am trying to understand what Steve Neal is proposing. As a ‘care manager’, a title I really disliked, I believe I had the skills to ask the right questions about the whole-of-care of a person while the business had clinical oversight, called a RN to look at meds, injections, clients on HCP-3/4 etc. Asking the ‘right questions’ involves some skill which I found useful having then recently completed a PG in counselling. Mr Neal suggests that “l told AAA there will also need to be greater awareness of who is involved in the provision of the client’s care”. I can share with Mr Neal, that as a counsellor with a focus on older adults, I know how to bring together knowledge and skills to ask a range of questions. It is however true that the organisation I worked for had a rather poor record of recruitment of ‘HCP managers’ so the sector needs to have people who have experience in the sector at different levels so that they can assess risks and vulnerabilities and mitigate them, where appropriate. Remember though that not everyone wants to be saved! People have the right of choice + consequences of their decision-making.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *