With the 2015 federal budget officially announced today, Minister of Social Services Scott Morrison and Assistant Minister Mitch Fifield issued media releases that give us a more or less clearer glimpse of government’s additional (broad) plans for the future.

The two separate media releases outline the breakdown of budget and plans for three key community care programs: Home Care Packages (HCP), Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The full text of the media releases can be found below (click on the links):

Items/plans for CHSP/HCP that are worth noting:

  • Older Australians receiving Home Care Packages will have control over their funds, similar to NDIS, from 1 February 2017. (Currently, HCP funding goes straight to service provider and the individual has to find a service with an available package.)
  • CHSP and HCP will be combined into a single “integrated care at home programme” from July 2018.
  • Aged care complaints will transfer from DSS to the Aged Care Commissioner from 1 January 2016.
  • A “new form of short-term restorative care” will be established.
  • Move for a “better quality framework”. Hints that this could mean a “single aged care quality regime across both community and residential care” as well as the possible entry/expansion of “private market provision of accreditation services”. (Currently, the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency is sole provider of aged care accreditation services).

Budget fact sheets

WSCF’s HACC/CCSP sector development team will release more information on 2015 budget implications on community care as information comes along.