Legislation for choice in aged home care

Older Australians will have greater choice and control over their aged care services under proposed changes to aged care legislation.


In last year’s Budget, the Australian Government announced reforms to strengthen the aged care system to ensure older Australians would receive further support to remain living at home.


As part of the first phase of the home care reforms, from February 2017 funding will follow the consumer not the provider, allowing people to choose the care which suits their individual needs and to then direct funding to that provider.


Minister for Health, Sussan Ley said “The changes [to the aged care system] we are making will allow greater flexibility for the consumer to be able to change a provider if they wish, including when moving to another area to live.


“The reforms also ensure there will be a consistent national approach to prioritising access to aged care services through the My Aged Care gateway.”


The legislative changes, introduced to Parliament today, will see the home care sector move towards a more market-based system, bringing about more innovative services through increased competition.


In addition to providing greater choice and control for those receiving services, the changes will also reduce the amount of red tape for providers, who will no longer have to apply for home care places through the Aged Care Approvals Round.


The second stage of reforms, expected to start from July 2018, will see the amalgamation of Home Care Packages and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme into a single care at home programme.


For further information about aged care see http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/ageing-and-aged-care


11 February 2016.