For those of you who have been regularly visiting our page you will have seen lots of questions about Consumer Directed Care and what it means for people who have Government funded packages supporting their care. One of our wonderful Care Advisor’s, Cindy has been speaking to many people as well and has pulled together five key points that will help you understand and benefit from this change.
1. As of February 27 all packages are 100% portable.
Simply put, you can choose who you want to deliver your care and move to them. This is a big change putting you in control, and some providers may not be ready to accept new customers, this will work out itself over time, but the choice of who provides your care is yours.
2. Providers do not own the packages or dollars, the individual does.
The way the system used to work meant that ‘Approved Providers’ were allocated Packages from the Government through a bidding process. People were independently assessed through the ACAT process and told what level of package, 1- 4, they qualified for. People would then have to ring around providers to see if they had matching packages available. This disjointed approach meant many were left taking a lower level package from a provider they didn’t necessarily want to use (we have heard this story over and over again). You are now in control of the dollars and can get the care and help you want even if that means using a number of different providers at the same time. Your first priority should be to ensure you are receiving the right amount of help and care you need.
3. You can not lose a package once you are eligible and it has been allocated to you.
Sadly, we are hearing stories of Care Providers telling people who want to change to another provider that they will lose their Government funding. This is not true. Once you have a Package, it’s yours. Use it wisely and ensure you get the help and care you want and deserve.
4. You can change providers without any financial penalty.
While the changes in funding do have the provision for providers to charge an ‘exit fees’ such a fee can only be deducted from a person’s package if they have a surplus. If you do want to change, ask for a statement of your package and understand if there are any monies unspent before agreeing to an exit fee. You should also check your current Home Care Agreement to see if there is a provision to charge an exit fee. If not then you can move without any financial penalty.
5. Funding and choice are one part of the solution.
Another key reason for the change in funding and putting the consumer in control is to encourage new solutions and organisations with modern models of care to enter the market. The Government wants to foster ‘good’ and much needed innovation. From our perspective we think an important area that needs to change in the delivery of care is the understanding that many family members and friends are intimately and lovingly involved in helping and providing care. These people are often excluded from the current processes and need to be kept informed and in touch. If you are organising the care for a loved one make sure you find a provider who understand this.
Consumer Directed Care is a much needed change that has good intentions at its heart. Please make sure you understand what you are now eligible for and ensure you are getting the help and care you need and deserve in a manner and way you like.
While the right care is important so to is the right amount of care. We have already had many people change to Five.Good.Friends. and because of our efficient new model and simple to use technology we are able to deliver up to 50% more hours. Imagine what a change that would make.
If you want to know more about Consumer Directed Care or would like to know if Five.Good.Friends. can help please call us on 1300 789 581 and speak to a Care Advisor today. Cindy is waiting for your call!