The Federal Government has responded to significant consumer demand for high level home care packages by allocating 93 per cent of new places in the 2015 Aged Care Approvals Round as Level 3 and 4 packages.
The boost in high care places of an additional 5,995 packages represents a 55 per cent increase on the previous year and responds to widespread sector concern regarding the low take up of Level 1 packages and long waiting lists for Levels 3 and 4.
The Department of Health did not allocate any new Level 1 packages as part of the government’s release of the 6,445 new home care packages.
Aged & Community Services Australia CEO John Kelly welcomed the government’s decision to distribute packages in favour of the higher levels. “ACSA had long been advocating for an increase in level 3 and 4 packages because of the reduction in demand and increasing vacancies in level 1 and 2 packages and welcome this recognition by government,” Adjunct Professor Kelly said.
According to the government the additional home care places are worth an estimated $232.4 million.
While the government increased the availability of Level 3 and 4 packages, the 2015 ACAR saw the overall home care package numbers decline slightly on last year. Compared with ACAR 2014, the department released 204 fewer packages.
This stagnating of growth will make it harder for the government to deliver on its target of reaching 100, 000 packages by 2017-2018, which was a commitment under the Living Longer, Living Better package.
Competition for packages in the final ACAR for home care packages intensified, with 20 places sought for every one advertised.
The government allocated around 37 per cent of places to new home care services and 63 per cent to existing services to expand their operations. A total of 114 providers were awarded packages.
The top ten providers allocated the most packages were:
Feros Care (435)
Integratedliving Australia (372)
Uniting NSW (362)
Southern Cross Care NSW & ACT (199)
St Ives Care (180)
The Carer’s Phone (173)
Read more at: http://www.australianageingagenda.com.au/2016/03/24/high-needs-home-care-packages-given-boost-in-acar/#.VwG8w9PhtVo.twitter