Aged care: new Support at Home program
SMALL-PROVIDER peak organization Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) has put out a proposal for the new Support at Home program.
The Government has announced that it is creating a new Support at Home program and that it will be a merger of the current Home Care Packages (HCP) program and the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).
ACSA’s proposal is supported by some credible community care providers and is overall a good proposal.
Although the paper outlining the proposal diplomatically doesn’t say so, the idea is that the HCP program should be structured as the CHSP rather than the other way around. CPSA supports that approach wholeheartedly.
The CHSP is so successful because it is locally based and for the greater part is delivered by not-for-profit organisations. These provider organisations are not driven by shareholders baying for profits and dividends.
ACSA’s paper supports the new funding model for residential aged care for the Support at Home program.
CPSA agrees that the current funding model used in the HCP program is not fit for purpose. However, it remains to be seen whether the new funding model to be used in residential aged care will be a success. It also remains to be seen whether such a funding model would be suitable for home care.
The current CHSP funding model is part of a program that works well. On the face of it, the new Support at Home program should kick off using that rather than experiment with something untried.
All in all, the ACSA proposal for the new Support at Home program is well thought through. However, it is unclear how this proposal sits with the Government’s push for consolidation in the aged care sector, which presumably would see the involvement of small providers reduced rather than be made the mainstay of the new program.