My Aged Care central client record goes live

All new entrants to the federal aged care system will from today receive a central client record containing demographic, assessment and service information that is accessible by the person, their families and care providers.

Also from today, healthcare professionals including GPs and nurses can make a referral to aged care services through the My Aged Care contact centre by phone or online, and in an acceptance that many healthcare providers still like paper, by fax.

Referrers can also find a a searchable list of government-supported aged care organisations, their contact details and the services they provide through the My Aged Care website. For non-government services, they can consult the National Health Services Directory (NHSD).

The My Aged Care website, contact centre and the NHSD are all managed on behalf of the government by Healthdirect Australia.

The changes are part of a massive restructure of how federally funded aged care services are managed. First developed under the Labor government's Living Longer Living Better reform package and passed by Parliament with bipartisan support in 2013, the reforms have been gradually implemented by the Coalition government, with more to come next year.

From today, the central client record will be available for any new entrants or for people currently in the system who require a re-assessment due to changing needs.

Regional Assessment Services (RAS) have been established to conduct face-to-face assessments of people seeking entry-level support at home under the former Home and Community Care (HACC) packages, now renamed as the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).

Existing Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) will continue for older people who need temporary or long-term institutional care.

Also from today, referrals to federally funded aged care services will begin to be managed electronically. New entrants will undergo a nationally consistent screening and assessment process through the My Aged Care contact centre, be allocated a central client record and be referred to a RAS for a face-to-face assessment.

Service providers will be alerted about a new referral by email, and will be able to view and accept or reject the referral, or add it to a waiting list, through a provider portal.

ACATs will begin to transition to the My Aged Care assessor portal on a state-by-state basis from September to December this year.

Aged care recipients and their families can log in to their central client record through myGov, which is also the consumer entry point for the PCEHR, Medicare and the Australian Taxation Office, while service providers can access the provider portal using the AUSkey system.

Hospitals can also begin to use the My Aged Care system from today for non-urgent needs and for patients who can safely be discharged home. Patients who need a comprehensive assessment will continue to be referred through the current process to ACATs, except in South Australia, where hospitals will refer to My Aged Care.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is planning to build an interface between hospitals and My Aged Care in the future.

Today also sees changes to DSS's requirements for consumer-directed care (CDC) in home care packages. Under this system, people receiving services in their home will be able to choose from whom they receive it and be provided with a monthly reconciliation of what services they are entitled to and how much has been spent.

In recognition of the disruption and expense this has caused to home care package providers, the Minister for Ageing, Mitch Fifield, last week announced he would make up to $20 million available to more than 500 providers to assist with the costs they have incurred.

Posted in Aged Care

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