July 8, 2015
The third and final phase of the current changes to aged care has been introduced this month. In an effort to reform and improve the age care system, consecutive governments have since 2012, progressively introduced significant changes aimed at giving older Australians greater control over the money spent on their welfare. A major objective of the new system is to promote care within the home by focusing on the needs and preferences of users. The main changes are:
The new program is expected to impact over 200,000 people and consolidates the four previously separate support programs into the new Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). The introduction of consumer directed care removes spending decisions worth billions of dollars from the providers and passes them to the users and their families. Seniors will now have increased control and flexibility when choosing how their government money is spent. Some may purchase new equipment to aid them at home while others may require shopping or cleaning services support. While the introduction of these changes brings to a close three years of reform, the ongoing need for better outcomes for government expenditure and user care is likely to drive further advances in the consumer empowered model.