LASA’s nine proposals for the yet-to-be released Support at Home Program

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Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) has released nine proposals for the yet-to-be unveiled Support at Home Program, which will take effect in July 2023.

The Home Care Price Regulation and Market Stewardship report criticises the Federal Government for its lack of engagement in the drawing up of the new program and outlines what should be in the Support at Home Program, which will replace the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), the Home Care Packages (HCP) Program, Short-Term Restorative Care Programme (STRC), and residential respite programs.

LASA recommends the design and production of the Support at Home Program include:

  • Adopting a more considered engagement process with home care providers in the co-design and co-production of the Support at Home Program, including a forum for provider and consumer advocates to work with decision makers;
  • Implementing assessment approvals that will see higher levels of support classification allocated to care recipients relative to what they will likely utilise, reducing the need for reassessment;
  • Implementing a fixed unit level Government subsidy allocation, means tested care-recipient co-contribution and market-based unit level provider pricing arrangement to accommodate market variability;
  • Developing infrastructure that will increase the transparency of care-recipient experiences and outcomes as an extension of price transparency with standardised measurement being collated centrally for analysis and review;
  • Making transparent home care cost variation relative to home care provider price variability in all future cost data reviews and analysis;
  • Giving account for increasing provider administration costs associated with implementing home care reforms;
  • Refining price transparency metrics to include standardised and comparable hourly care management prices that better support informed care-recipient choice and decision-making concerning care management price variation;
  • Committing to retain block funding for the operation of market segments, including those identified as thin markets or having a high fixed cost component independent of care-related outputs; and
  • Committing to implement market stewardship mechanisms that are consultative and outcome focused, being sufficiently sensitive to identify and intervene in thin markets.

The Commonwealth Department of Health will soon be consulting on critical design elements for the new program and says that it has held consultations. Check out its website.

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