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Home Care Package Self-Management: How It Works

In this guide:

Published October 2023

Everyone who is approved for a government-funded Home Care Package (HCP) can choose to self-manage. This option gives you greater choice and control, more hours of support and better value, overall.

Why self-manage your home care package?

Before the policy of Consumer Directed Care was fully introduced in 2017, having a home care package meant you had to stick with your aged care provider with sometimes limited choices. This meant accepting their staff and available support options, according to their rosters.

With consumer-directed care, from February 2017 onwards, HCP funding was allocated to the person rather than the aged care provider. This meant that for the first time, people could exercise ‘self-management’ of their package, i.e., choose their own service providers and health professionals, potentially save on administration fees, and decide who would support them, when, and at what rates.

By choosing to self-manage your home care package, you can get more hours of support out of your package. You pay lower administration fees, which means more of your package is available for you to spend on support.

What is consumer-directed care?

Consumer-directed care represents a new approach to care provision, one that empowers individuals with increased choices and flexibility. Under this model, those receiving home care package funding gain more autonomy over their care and service arrangements, including how services are administered and who administers them.

In 2012, the Federal Government recognised the importance of granting individuals receiving home care services greater control over their care as part of its Living Longer Living Better reforms for aged care. Subsequently, beginning in February 2017, consumer-directed care underwent further enhancements, with funding for home care packages now being directly allocated to the recipients themselves.

Home care packages are portable, enabling receipients to switch service providers if desired and even take their package with them should they relocate. This transformative approach empowers individuals to have a more active role in shaping their care and services, promoting greater choice and flexibility in the care they receive.

What is a self-managed home care package?

Self-managing your Home Care Package means you have complete control and choice over how you use your home care package funding. This includes:

  • Choosing the people who support you
  • Deciding what services you want from the people who support you; and
  • Choosing when (what time, how many hours, etc.) you want those services

You might want someone who:

  • lives nearby and knows your neighbourhood
  • who speaks your language
  • shares your interests
  • can meet your scheduling requirements or any other preferences you might have

This choice is crucial, not only to determine the quality of support you receive, but also the value you can get out of your package. Greater value means more hours of support for you or your family member, something that can directly impact quality of life.

How to self-manage your home care package

Homemade has been playing a leading role in supporting consumers’ rights to self-manage their HCP for several years. People with a home care package who sign up on HomeMade to self-manage their team of support workers, are using what we describe as a ‘self-managed home care package’.

Self-managing means you and your family can book independent support workers in your area yourself. You find a worker you like, agree on an hourly rate, the services they provide and the days and times they provide support.
You still need an Approved Home Care Provider to host your package, such as HomeMade, but by self-managing your package, you can reduce your fees and provide more funding towards supports and services.

There are a several options you can use to help source service providers or support workers.

1. Joining HomeMade means you have instant access to our existing network of over 1,200 Service providers Australia-wide. You can search online via the HomeMade platform to find a service provider to meet your needs.

2. Using platforms such as Mable you can source support workers close to where you live and who suit your needs. You can then engage with them directly to see if they are a good fit for you. Visit the Mable website to search for support workers in your area.

3. You can also onboard preferred Service Providers with Homemade, providing they meet your compliance requirements – which means if you already have an organisation you use, you may be able to continue using them.

Engaging Services and Support – doing your research

Home Care package funding can be used for services and supports as long as they meet Government guidelines and are part of a recipient’s support plan.

When your self-managing, Home Care Packages are not just about ‘hours of care’. As everyone’s situation is different, self-management means you won’t get any generic one-size-fits-all solution when you partner with HomeMade.

We keep up with the latest technology solutions, people solutions and support options for people who have a range of health and medical conditions. We’ll help you think outside the box to use your home care funds creatively and efficiently. The Government is happy to subsidise your services and support as long as they can see a link between your care needs and the types of solutions you create in your support plan.

Before receiving your Home Care Package is a great time to do some research and create a shortlist of Support workers or providers that you may like to engage. Some of the things to consider:

  • Is there a specific language you would like them to be fluent in?
  • How close are they to your home? (consider any travel costs)
  • Are they available at times that suit you?
  • Do their fees or hourly rate fit your budget?
  • Do you have shared interests or hobbies?
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