More choice for consumers in aged care

elderly aged home care services choice for consumers

More choice for discerning aged care consumers

The way in which our elderly access home care packages will change after legislation was introduced to Parliament on Thursday, 11/2/2016 to give more choice to consumers in aged care.

Under the current system, an individual who has been assessed as eligible for a home care package will be referred to a provider who has a package available. This provider has received an allotment of packages by applying for them through a tender process. Although the current system is known as ‘consumer directed care’ choice of provider is actually rather limiting for most consumers.

Implication for consumers

Under the planned regime, the eligible person will be awarded a home care package and will then be able to take that to a provider of their choice. As you can imagine, this will give the consumer more choice and much greater control over their services. For example, it will allow them to move to alternative providers if the existing arrangements do not meet their needs or their standards.

Implication for service providers

Within the aged care services sector, the changes will put pressure on operators by increasing competition and improving quality of service standards. Further, according to Minister, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, the changes “will reduce red tape and regulation for aged care providers”.

According to the minister, “these changes are an important step in moving towards an aged care system that is more consumer-driven, market-based and less regulated. The reforms are consistent with the long term policy directions proposed by Productivity Commission.”

At Platinum Healthcare we’re excited by these developments and consider them to be in line with our view on giving more control to clients (see our earlier post on this here).

Meanwhile, we will watch closely to see how these changes unfold and how providers respond to the challenges and the opportunities it awakens.