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Tips on how to choose a home care package provider

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Have you been assigned a home care package? Not sure which provider to choose? Here are some tips to guide you through the process.

Under a home care package, you can choose the services you need to help you live independently at home. You also need to choose a provider that will deliver the services to suit your needs. Being assigned a package gives the provider you have chosen the approval to administer a set amount of money on your behalf to deliver those services.

The amount of money there is depends on the home care package level. For example:

  • a level one package supports people with basic care needs and equates to an annual budget of about $8,800,
  • a level two package supports people with low level care needs and totals $15,500,
  • a level three package supports people with intermediate care needs and is $33,700, and
  • a level four package supports people with high level care needs and totals $51,100.

You’re expected to contribute to the cost of your care if you can afford it. Case management and administration fees are paid out of the package.

How to choose a provider

Once you can access a home care package, your name is placed on a database accessible by all registered service providers, so don’t be surprised if you receive phone calls from different providers offering their services.

You can choose your home care package provider in a number of ways.

  • If you are receiving services from an organisation under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme you may be able to ‘upgrade’ them to be your package provider. That can work well if the same service can continue under a different funding method but be sure that the provider can deliver additional services you may need as your care needs change.
  • You can also research the good providers in your local area. The most common methods are word of mouth or advice from trusted health professionals.

Beware of heavy-handed marketing

Home care is a business so don’t be caught unaware by heavy-handed marketing. Home care should be delivered in a consumer-directed care way, which means you have control when making choices about the types of care and services you wish to access, how it is accessed and by whom. It also means you have the choice to develop your own care plan with your service provider, determine how much involvement you want in managing your package, and monitor your package to check if it still meets your care needs.

Be aware - some providers will go out of their way to make things work for you, while others may try to encourage you fit into their schedules and systems.

Make sure you understand your care plan

Your care plan is an important document assessing your needs and outlining the services you will receive to meet those needs, who will provide those services and when. It is key to ensuring that your provider is delivering the agreed services you need.

The above article is a summary. The original article, ‘How to choose a home care package provider’ by Bina Brown originally appeared in the AFR on 13 Feb 2020.

For more information about how Catholic Healthcare’s Home Care team can assist you in navigating Home Care services that best suit your needs, please call our friendly Customer Care team on 1800 225 474 or visit www.catholichealthcare.com.au/homecare/