The federal government is seeking input from home care providers as it moves towards a sweeping overhaul of the aged care system in response to the recommendations of the aged care royal commission.

Providers also have an opportunity to have their say on a proposal to introduce a mandatory home care serious incident reporting scheme for the first time.

The royal commissioners have recommended the creation of a new single aged care system including what’s likely to be a multi-level new support at home category.

From July 2023, the new support at home program will replace the HCP program, CHSP, short term restorative care and residential respite. It is likely to have more levels than the existing 4-tier home care package system to better cater for individual needs and eliminate the problem of unspent funds.

The reforms also include a single assessment workforce from 2023.

Readiness for change

The health department wants to get a preliminary understanding of how ready the sector is the proposed changes, as well as getting a sense of the sector’s hopes and fears around the reforms.

Specifically, information is being sought about a range of practical issues including services provided, workforce, funding and finances including changes to the payment systems, technology and IT, clients and governance.

The survey also lets providers have their say on the impact of the new care management framework which may see consumers approved for funded care management.

The survey is available for download here or via an online portal until August 13.

Serious Incident Response Scheme

Meanwhile, feedback is also being sought on a Serious Incident Response Scheme for in-home aged care services.

The government says this will help in the expansion of the SIRS from residential care to the home care sector from next July.

“The SIRS is being expanded to hold providers to account for protecting and safeguarding consumers, in accordance with reasonable expectations from the Australian Community,” a consultation paper says.

The proposed SIRS for home care will require providers to engage in risk prevention, management and improvement and require them to notify the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission of reportable incidents.

There currently no compulsory reporting requirements for home care.

Providers have until August 9 to complete the survey here.

This story first ran on Community Care Review.

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