Reform to in-home aged care as Government announces single Support at Home Program

Reform to in-home care

In response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (the Royal Commission), we will create a new Support at Home Program.

We will develop this program in consultation with senior Australians and community stakeholders.

The new program will address the Royal Commission’s recommendations to support senior Australians to stay in their homes for longer. Read more about Pillar 1: Home Care, which is part of our aged care reform plan.

This reform will mean better-targeted services for over one million senior Australians who are now receiving home care or residential respite services.

From July 2023, the new Support at Home Program will replace:

  • Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
  • Home Care Packages (HCP) Program
  • Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) Programme
  • Residential respite programs

We have started to design the Support at Home Program through consultation and research. This is supported by $23.5 million in funding over 2 years from 2020 to 2021. The Government committed funding at the 2020–21 Budget2020–21 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), and the 2021–22 Budget.

Support at Home Program Overview Paper

This overview outlines the proposed design for the new Support at Home Program. It discusses key aspects of the program and provides a consultation plan for 2022. Read the overview.

Current consultation and research activities

  • Research and consultation with senior Australians and their carers, assessors, home care providers and peak body organisations. This will inform the Support at Home Program, including how to evaluate it.
  • Research to ensure current home care program benefits are maintained while issues are addressed. It will also determine how best to support and inform consumers about the new program changes and design.
  • Consultation with stakeholders regarding business and service delivery model design.
  • A study with up to 4,000 senior Australians about the needs and associated costs of delivering home care. It aims to better match these needs with appropriate supports. The study builds on earlier work to identify and evaluate options for assessing consumers in a new home care model.
  • Research comparing needs of senior Australians in residential aged care with those receiving support through a home care package. The research identifies where senior Australians with higher levels of need could be safely and cost‑effectively supported at home instead of in residential aged care. This includes consideration of senior Australians with disabilities who may not be eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

We will soon be consulting on critical design elements for the new program including:

  • more consistent and accurate assessment arrangements that recognise not all people need intensive assessments
  • a modern classification and funding system ensuring the support senior Australians receive aligns with their assessed care needs
  • an increased choice of providers across all types and levels of home care
  • a focus on care management in assessment and funding arrangements
  • better support for informal carers
  • more support for early interventions to help people remain independent at home for longer.

Past consultation and research activities

  • Targeted consultation with home care service providers about potential changes under the Support at Home Program. These discussions explored the readiness of the aged care sector to respond to and implement reforms for the new program.
  • A  Survey of Home Care Providers and a CHSP data study to better understand current HCP and CHSP services.
  • Consumer research testing new home care design. This included consultation with current and potential consumers, their carers, peak body organisations, and home care providers.
  • A report called Options for the assessment, classification and funding model for the unified aged care at home program looked at how a new home care program could better match services to client need, while supporting choice. The report developed options for an Assessment, Classification and Funding (ACF) model for the new Support at Home Program. An ACF model matches assessed needs of senior Australians and their carers with supports. It ensures that senior Australians with similar needs get equal support.

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