What is Consumer Directed Care (CDC) all about?

This note is designed to introduce you to the new Government Consumer Directed Care (CDC) program. The Government have stipulated that from 1 July 2015 all care delivered under the government system must be on a CDC basis.

One of the services offered by Right at Home is we help older Australians and their families navigate the government system. We can help you and your family get the help and support you need. This is a free service from Right at Home.

For the vast majority of older Australians, the preference is to stay in their own home as long as possible. The use of in-home care services can extend the period a person can remain in their own home to the end of life. The Australian Government has recognised that people prefer to stay independently at home and have adapted the system to make this a realty – CDC is that reality.

The reason this is important is that many Older Australians do qualify for government support to pay for home care. CDC is the program that delivers that care. The purpose of the Government CDC aged care system is to give older Australians ownership of decision-making for their CDC home care funding package. CDC gives you the right to determine the level of involvement they want in managing their package. This could range from involvement in all aspects of the package, including co-ordination of service providers, to a less active role in decision-making and management of their package.

The CDC program is delivered by businesses, like Right at Home, that are called Approved Providers. These Providers are obliged to agree to your wishes, as regards what services you want, when you want them and by whom. The primary purpose of CDC is to give you the choice of which provider you want to deliver your services and what services you want. The main message is that it is up to you to decide.

This is important as if you are unhappy with the services you are getting, or the number of hours of care, or the services are of poor quality, then you can make a change. You can notify the government through the myagedcare website that you are unhappy and you can choose a new provider.

For the vast majority of older Australians, the preference is to stay in their own home as long as possible. The use of in-home care services can extend the period a person can remain in their own home to the end of life.  

Government funding (CDC)

Here are the steps to follow in applying for a government funded home care package:

Step 1:      Establish for yourself or for your loved one that it is time to seek help. Don’t leave it too late, as if you do, you or loved could end up in hospital or worse, a nursing home. Its way better to prevent a problem by getting services earlier than later.

Step 2:      Make contact with the government through the myagedcare website to request an assessment of your needs. If you call Right at Home we can help you with this process.

Step 3:      Someone from the government will call you to make an appointment to come to your home for an assessment. The assessment is performed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), who decide what level of services are required (what the government is prepared to pay for).

Step 4:      Once the assessment is complete the government will tell you what level of care you have been approved for. There are 4 levels of funding depending on need. This ranges from +-$7,000 per annum to +-$48,000 per annum.

Step 5:      Once an ACAT assessment has been completed under the CDC system you will need to complete an income assessment via Centrelink to determine eligibility. Only persons on the aged pension or with annual income levels below a fixed amount are eligible for government funded home care packages. Nobody will be denied services because they can’t afford it. If a person has independent means then the government will ask the person to make a contribution towards their care. Once again Right at Home can help you navigate this process.

Step 6:      If you are eligible for a high level package like a 3 or 4 you may be put on a waiting list. You may have to wait as long as 6-months for an allocation. Once you have been given a package then you go onto the myagedcare website and notify them which provider you have chosen.

Step 7:      You will need to sign a Home Care Agreement with the company you choose. This agreement spells out your rights and explains how the services are delivered. You can change provider whenever you want to. You are not locked in.

Step 8:      Services commence. The provider you choose must keep an account of your money and show you exactly how it is being spent.

Home Care delivered on a CDC Basis

A key feature of the CDC Conditions is that you must have ownership of decision-making.  The provider has an obligation to ensure that you, in partnership with the provider, drives the care planning process.  Throughout the process, the provider must place an emphasis on your choice and control.

The CDC Condition requires that the provider must, wherever possible, try to accommodate your preferences.

The message in the legislation is that consumers must have their needs and wishes recognised by government-funded providers. Government funded providers cannot, therefore, run interference in order to frustrate the preferences as expressed by consumers.

The message is, if you are unhappy, make a change!

If you need help with this, please call Right at Home and we can help you navigate the government funding process.