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In-Home Aged Care Funding: Inclusions & Exclusions (3 min read)

The HCP guidelines are commonly referred to as a live document, meaning there is an expectation it will be continuously updated if components of it require further clarity or if changes are made. The guidelines will always be bound by the legislative requirements, which include the Quality of Care Principles, 2014 and the User Rights Principles, 2014.

The HCP guidelines were first developed in 2013, they were then replaced by a more detailed version in 2020 with the sector provided with the most recent version in January 2023. Within the recent webinar, the Department notified the sector that although the intent is for the guidelines to provide full clarity, the most common request for further guidance continues to be on what package funds can be spent on.

The Department has created an additional live document labelled Home Care Packages Program Inclusions and Exclusions – FAQs for Providers – version 1 which has an extensive list of examples for the most frequently asked questions. A key message within this document is that the programs policy intent is to support the care recipient for age-related functional decline and for providers to utilise the Inclusion and Exclusions Framework when making decisions on what can or cannot be included as part of a care recipients’ package. See framework below.

Age-related functional decline can be defined as a reduction in ability to perform activities of daily living due to a decrease in physical and/or cognitive functioning associated with ageing.

Although most care recipients will access the program to support ageing related functional decline, the program is also extended to older people who have a disability who are not eligible for NDIS. HCP can further support care recipient with chronic disease, in recognition that some disease such as diabetes and heart disease can be exacerbated by ageing – other avenues such as the Chronic Disease Management (CDM) should be used first, with the HCP utilised as a supplement to a CDM plan.

Given Assist Healthcare is a provider of Allied Health Services we will extend on a few related Allied Health examples below.

Health Professionals are able to prescribe or recommend services, supports or items if:

· they are practising within their scope,

· the health professional has experience and training within their relevant field and

· the Allied Health Professional is registered with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) or self – regulated by another national professional association.

When prescribing Goods, equipment and assistive technology (GEAT) Health Professionals (typically Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists) will complete a functional assessment of the care recipients’ abilities, a home assessment where relevant and make recommendations based off clinical requirements if they are due to age-related functional decline and/or whether disabilities or chronic disease is exacerbated by ageing.

Not all GEAT requires a health professionals’ input, with the below image provided by the Department as guidance for care managers for whether prescription requires a referral to an Allied Health Professional.

Assist Healthcare monitors the latest updates provided by the DoHA and aims to continuously improve it's services to exceed both quality and compliance requirements. An exciting initiative includes our evidence-based Outcome Measure (OM) reports (separate to the provision of progress notes). Although our therapists have always completed Outcome Measures as part of a standard assessment, Assist Healthcare now provides reports on a care recipients baseline measurements and how they are progressing at set intervals. This reporting helps guide our therapists and is a transparent indicator for the care recipient and providers on whether treatments are effective and the care recipient continues to benefit from our therapy services.

Be sure to head to our homepage to learn more about our services and reach out at should you require assistance with the provision of Allied Health services.



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