The appeal of self-management in the Home Care Packages Program is understandable. Older people have been looking after themselves and others for a long time, and most want to remain in the driver’s seat. Self-managed Home Care Package providers advertise that they offer more choice, more control, more hours and more freedom. But is self-management all it’s cracked up to be?
The basics: What is self-management?
While it is often referred to as self-management, it’s important to remember that a truly self-managed Home Care Package doesn’t exist.
Why? Because according to legislation, a Home Care Package provider is still required to “hold” your government-issued Home Care Package funding. Providers of self-managed Home Care Packages simply offer a bare-bones management service and charge a rate of around 13% for “hosting” your Package.
Self-management means that you are active in managing the practical tasks of your home care. You are responsible for:
- Undertaking your own recruitment and management of your support team, including scheduling your appointments and times, covering annual leave, sick leave and ensuring services are delivered to your standard
- Sourcing, purchasing and/or being reimbursed for your products and services
- Ensuring all purchases are made in accordance with the policies of a provider and relevant Government legislation
- Managing your own clinical needs, including hiring nurses and allied health professionals
- Managing your Home Care Package budget
What are the risks of self-management?
Self-management poses a number of risks that need to be carefully considered. For example, what happens if…
- An unexpected health issue disrupts your ability to self-manage?
- You need to increase your support, but you don’t have the capacity to make those changes yourself?
- You haven’t left enough money in your budget for support when your care needs increase?
- Your chosen carer calls in sick, requests long-term leave or quits unexpectedly?
- Your chosen carer is performing poorly and not meeting your care needs?
- You want to make a complaint about your chosen carer?
- Your chosen carer’s insurance, qualification or criminal background check lapses without your knowledge?
- A family member or friend takes advantage of your access to government funds?
Rather than directly assisting you with these matters, most providers of self-managed Home Care Packages will direct you to written and digital resources, training and technologies.
Therefore, it’s important for you to create your own risk management plan by assessing the likelihood of these scenarios, the risk they pose to your health and wellbeing, and the contingency plans you will have in place should those scenarios occur.
What is provider management?
In provider-managed care, you are offered a full and comprehensive Home Care Package management service that, according to Government legislation, must be delivered according to Consumer Directed Care (CDC) principles – consumer choice and control, rights, respectful and balanced partnerships, participation, wellness and re-ablement, and transparency.
So, what does this mean for provider-managed care? It means that your provider takes care of the administrative duties, budgeting, staffing responsibilities and purchasing – all in accordance with your personal needs, preferences and goals.
My Care Solution offers provider-managed Home Care Packages. We deliver Home Care Packages according to CDC principles by:
- Pairing our clients with a dedicated Client Care Coordinator who continuously oversees all aspects of your care, including budgeting, staffing and purchasing on your behalf
- Providing a range of directly employed, nationally screened, highly trained and compatible caregivers to deliver your support services
- Replacing staff that do not meet your standards or “click” with you
- Scheduling your appointments and services on your behalf and according to your preferences
- Covering sick leave, long-term leave and resignations in a way that does not affect the delivery of your care and support
- Carefully screening your service providers, from your gardener to your in-home hairdresser, to ensure they are qualified, appropriately insured and police checked
My Care Solution offers provider-managed Home Care Packages for between 15-20% of the value of your Home Care Package. However, many providers can charge up to double or triple this amount in package management fees. Read our 10 Questions to Ask a Home Care Package Provider blog for more information.
Is self-management right for me?
Self-managing your Home Care Package may be suitable for you if:
- You have low care needs
- You are transferring from the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) to a Level 1 Home Care Package
- You have the capacity, time, and skills to manage people, budgets and technology
- You would prefer to use your Home Care Package as a wallet for purchasing equipment and basic task support such as cleaning and gardening
If you decide to give self-management a go, it’s important to consider your risk scenarios and put contingency plans in place should those scenarios arise.
Lastly, remember that you have a lot of control when your Home Care Package is managed by a provider, too. With provider-management, your risks are managed according to your needs and preferences, which means you won’t have to worry about budgeting, purchasing, scheduling, performance managing, staff absenteeism and more.
If you wish to learn more about provider management, call My Care Solution on 08 8331 9922 or schedule an in-home or phone consultation online with one of our Client Care Coordinators online.