By Amy Cheng
Home care providers should be part of the co-design and co-production of the Support at Home Program, according to Leading Age Services Australia.
The national association for age service providers has released a research-based report on home care pricing.
The Home Care Price Regulation and Market Stewardship report, released today, sets out nine recommendations for government to adopt to include home care providers in the design and production of the program.
“Poor sector engagement, whereby providers encounter continued frustration in contributing to the design and production process, hinders the realisation of reform progression responsive to the aspirations of older Australians in the context of fiscal pressures associated with an ageing population,” the report said.
One of the recommendations calls for the establishment of a forum for provider and consumer advocates to work with decision-makers on key design elements.
This aims to ensure that consumer needs are understood and provider views are accounted for on how best to meet these needs in the program.
This could include the establishment of a forum for provider and consumer advocates to work with decision makers on key design elements, according to the report.
“This approach needs to recognise the importance of market-based pricing, in accounting for variation and fluidity across diverse market segments in the national home care landscape,” the report said.
LASA also recommends assessment approvals that allow for higher levels of support classification for care recipients relative to what they will use, to reduce the need for reassessment.
“This, in turn, reduces assessor demand for reassessment in the context of workforce supply constraints and relative to changing care-recipient needs,” the report said.
“Importantly, the demand for reassessments will likely be higher for older Australians navigating functional decline when compared with NDIS participants.”
Home care cost variation relative to home care provider price variability should be made available in all future cost data reviews and analysis, says LASA.
The research from LASA looks at home care package cost distribution, home care package price maturation, pricing and comparable program policy settings, market stewardship and care-recipient experiences and outcomes.
Report authors LASA’s Tim Hicks and Troy Speirs are unpacking the research findings in a series of articles for Australian Ageing Agenda starting with administration and care costs.
The Support at Home program will replace the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, the Home Care Packages Program, Short-Term Restorative Care Programme and residential respite programs.
It will address the Royal Commission’s recommendations to support senior Australians to stay at home longer.
Access the report on Home Care Price Regulation and Market Stewardship