This article was written by Chris Wheeler, Magda Kucharska and Kelsey Davis.
A number of changes are being implemented to the My Aged Care system from July 2015. The changes are designed to make it easier for people to access aged care services. Service providers will need to know about:
- the introduction of My Aged Care portals for accessing the system;
- the central client record;
- the national screening and assessment process; and
- electronic referrals for service.
Residential aged care providers will start receiving electronic referrals for service via the system after the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) in their local area has transitioned to using the system. The transition of ACATs will occur between July 2015 and December 2015. Providers will be able to access the provider portal from mid-May 2015, and are encouraged to become familiar with the portal and review their organisation’s details before 1 July 2015.
These changes will differ in Victoria and Western Australia due to the continued operation of the Home and Community Care programme.
My Aged Care portals
The My Aged Care system will include web-based portals for clients, assessors and providers respectively. Service providers will use the portal to:
- self-manage information about the services they provide;
- manage referrals for service issued by the contact centre or assessors;
- update central client records with information about services being delivered; and
- request that an assessor undertake a review or a new assessment.
Service providers must keep the information on the portal up-to-date, as this information will be used by contact centre staff and assessors to refer clients to services.
Central client record
People seeking access to aged care services will have a client record created by contact centre staff. The client record will include client details, details about previous assessments and support plans, and information about services received. Clients will be asked to consent to their client record being shared with assessors and service providers.
National Screening and Assessment process
The National Screening and Assessment Form (NSAF) will be used to conduct screening, home support and comprehensive assessment. Contact centre staff will conduct screening over the phone to determine the appropriate assessment pathway. The client will then undergo either home support assessment or comprehensive assessment to establish a support plan that reflects the client’s needs, goals and referral preferences and to match the client’s needs with aged care service providers.
Electronic referrals for service
Assessors will work with clients to send a referral directly to the client’s selected service provider, or the assessor will issue the client with a referral code which they can provide to their preferred service provider. Clients seeking access to residential care services may use a referral code to allow them to visit different facilities to discuss their needs with providers. The referral code will give the service provider access to the client record to assist the discussion and, ultimately, will allow the service provider to accept or reject the referral, or place the client on a waitlist.
What providers need to do now
In order to prepare to use the provider portal, providers should have already received correspondence from the Department of Social Services (the Department) with instructions to:
- Identify an individual from the organisation to be the provider’s Organisation Administrator;
- Have the Organisation Administrator complete and submit a ‘smart form’ to the Department by 17 April 2015; and
- Obtain an AUSkey for the Organisation Administrator and all staff who will use the provider portal (an AUSkey is a secure login that identifies you when participating in Government online services).
Having done this, providers will be able to access the provider portal from mid-May 2015. If your organisation has not received the smart form, you should contact [email protected]. Once you are able to access the portal, you should become familiar with it and review your organisation’s details before 1 July 2015.
Where to find more information….
More information on the Aged Care system changes can be found here: