Upcoming Changes to Australian Home Care Packages Program
From September 2021, the Department of Health and Services Australia will be implementing several key changes to the Home Care Packages Program. These changes will be carried out as part of the second phase of Improved Payment Arrangements which have been gradually delivered since February 2021.
The changes will impact recipients and service providers of Home Care Packages in several ways including the following:
- Service providers will be paid in arrears based on the services delivered
- Home care accounts for each individual receiving care will be created
- The Australian Government will utilise these accounts to manage unspent Commonwealth funds from September 2021, but these unspent funds will still be available to care recipients to use
- Service providers can opt in to return unspent Commonwealth funding
The implementation of these changes will allow the Home Care Packages Program to run in alignment with other programs such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme and will also grant the Australian Government the responsibility of managing unspent funds rather than providers.
The Department of Health has stated that these upcoming changes will enhance protections for home care funds as the program continues to expand and will reduce the prudential risks within home care.
For more information, visit the Department of Health website here.