The Federal Government has announced the next phase of My Aged Care, which will introduce standardised assessment for entry into the Commonwealth Home Support Program from 1 July 2015.

Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield said the new Regional Assessment Service (RAS) would end the current of system of fragmented assessment by several hundred different organisations.

“The RAS is going to help ensure that the services received correspond to the needs of an individual and that they are not limited by the scope of that particular service provider,” Senator Fifield told Parliament on Wednesday.

Independent assessment

For the first time, home support assessments will also be separated from service delivery to ensure an independent assessment of client need.

“It is important that by separating assessment from service provision we are ensuring that older Australians are being assessed for what they need rather than just for the services that a particular provider can give them. This separation is consistent with the best practice for government services outlined in the Harper review,” Senator Fifield said.

To establish the RAS, the government is opening a competitive tender process for organisations to deliver the assessments across 52 aged care planning regions, excluding Victoria and Western Australia.

Senator Fifield said the national network of assessment services would determine the mix of services people need to remain in their home, and reassess them if their circumstances change.

Organisations can apply individually or as part of a consortium to deliver the face-to-face assessment, and local and specialist organisations such as those that support culturally and linguistically diverse and Indigenous communities are encouraged to apply as part of a larger consortium.

Successful organisations will assess clients with a focus on reablement and match and refer clients to local services.

DSS estimates between eight to 20 successful tenderers will deliver approximately 240 000 home support assessments each year.

The tender documents also allow for comprehensive assessments by Aged Care Assessment Teams to come under the functions of the RAS in the future.

Tenders close on 19 December 2014.


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