ONCE IHAC, the new In-Home Aged Care program, starts on 1 July 2024, many former CHSP providers could have a hard time surviving. The new system will be much like the current Home Care Packages (HCP) program, so HCP providers have a real advantage over CHSP providers.
While on 1 July 2024 many former HCP providers will be poised to poach and cherry-pick clients from former CHSP providers, it would be far more efficient for everyone concerned to harmoniously combine operations. And ‘everyone concerned’ includes you, the client.
But it is important to realise that former HCP providers who would prefer mergers as a way of expanding their business (rather than trying to woo away former individual CHSP clients) would still be cherry-picking. Not cherry-picking clients but entire businesses, that is, former CHSP providers.
That realisation can have an interesting implication for your current CHSP provider, who is just as concerned as their clients about what will happen from 1 July 2024.
For your CHSP provider, the logical preparation to the introduction of the new system would seem to be to find out how it works, how it would work for their operation, what arrangements they need to introduce and what training they need to get.
However, no matter how conscientiously and competently your CHSP provider prepares, they would still lack ‘live’ experience. The main risk is that in the transition from being CHSP-funded to being HCP-funded fails and that their operation becomes insolvent.
It might just be better for them to make sure that the services they provide are in tip-top shape, delivered as efficiently as they can be, by skilled, happy staff. This may turn their operation in a cherry a good HCP provider is happy to pick.
The result would be that the services they deliver are then delivered without teething problems or worse under the new IHAC program.
So, your CHSP provider can set themselves up for 1 July 2024 by assuming, or even resolving, that they will merge with a former HCP provider.
But there are more CHSP providers (1,400 plus) than HCP providers (900 plus). The CHSP currently services more than 800,000 clients, whereas the HCP program services more than 260,000.
So, a merger is not a foregone outcome. Make sure you’re currently with a CHSP provider who is cherry worth picking.