News & Events

As the Australian Government begins to implement the recommendations of ‘The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety,’ you will start to see changes in how your Home Care Package is provided. There have already been some changes from February 2021 which are outlined below:

What can’t I use the Home Care Package funds for?

There are care and services that you are unable to use package funds for. This includes:

  • use of the package funds as a source of general income;
  • payment of home care fees owing to Accent Home Care;
  • payment of travel and accommodation costs for holidays;
  • items that would normally be purchased out of general income (for example, purchasing furniture, petrol, solar panels, servicing gas heaters, replacing gutters, security alarms, internet streaming subscription, and other similar items);
  • home modifications or capital items that are not related to your care needs;
  • buying food except as part of enteral feeding requirements. This includes groceries and take-away meals. ‘Take-away’ is generally defined as the food you would buy from a restaurant or food outlet;
  • payment for permanent accommodation, including assistance with home purchase, mortgage payments, or rent;
  • payment of fees or charges for other types of care funded, or partly funded, by the Australian Government, such as services for hearing aids, glasses, and dentures;
  • cost of entertainment activities, such as club memberships and tickets to sporting events;
  • gambling activities; and
  • payment for services and items covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule (for example, visits to your GP) or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (for example, most medication you need a script for).

Do any of the Government changes impact the services I provide?

The services you receive can be provided by either the Accent Home Care staff or brokered services. Brokered services are external organisations we have agreements with to provide care for you. Brokered services include gardeners, plumbers, handyperson, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and other brokered services that provide personal and domestic care.

Are there brokered services that cannot be funded by a Home Care Packaged?

Accent Home Care may decline your request for services where the brokered service will not comply with the Australian Government requirements. The following list is provided by the Government and states when a brokered service will be declined:

  1. The proposed service may cause harm or pose a threat to the health and/or safety of you, our staff, or other people.
  2. The proposed service is outside the scope of the Home Care Package.
  3. Accent Home Care would not be able to comply with its responsibilities underaged care legislation or other Australian Government or State laws.
  4. The requested service provider will not enter into a contract with Accent Home Care.
  5. There have been previous difficulties or negative experiences with the requested service provider.
  6. The cost of the service/item is beyond the scope of the available package funds.

If the brokered service declines to sign an agreement with Accent Home Care, can I pay them and you reimburse me?

The Australian Government requires all brokered services to sign an agreement with Accent Home Care no matter if the consumer is reimbursed if they paid for the service or if Accent Home Care pays.

Therefore, in this situation, Accent Home Care is unable to reimburse you for the service.

If I have previously used a service where you have reimbursed me, can I continue to use them?

We will need the brokered service to sign an agreement and provide police checks and insurance certificates. If they do not, the service cannot go ahead. Accent Home Care is here to support brokered services to be compliant with the Australian Government requirements.

Where can I find out more information about what the Australian Government is doing?

Home Care Packages Program Operational Manual for Home Care Package consumers: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/publications/home-care-packages-manual-pdf

Read the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/

What happens if I have more questions about the changes?

All you need to do is contact your Care Advisor by email: homecare@accenthomecare.org.au or contact the office (03) 8720 1338.

Take care and stay safe.

Nick Grakini
General Manager Community Services

If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, please telephone: 1800 675 398