The Department of Health has updated its fact sheet Changing Home Care Providers with more detailed information on arrangements from 27 February 2017.

When a consumer needs continuity of care with no gap in home care subsidy, providers and consumers must reach a mutually agreed cessation date, ensure the new provider is aware of the date and the new provider must then submit an aged care entry record.

When a consumer is changing home care providers and there is no gap in care, the ‘start day’ for the new provider (notified through the Aged Care entry record) should be the same date as the ‘cessation day’ for the existing provider (departure details notified through the claims process).

Providers are required to notify the Department of Human Services within 31 days of a client ceasing care through a home care service through the home care claim form or the aged care online services system. Note that a home care subsidy is not paid for the client’s cessation day as it will be paid to the new provider.

New providers must notify the Department of Human Services within 28 days of the consumer starting care by submitting an Aged Care Entry Record in order to receive payment from the client’s cessation day.

Unspent home care package funds (less any exit amount) will move with consumers to their new provider in the event that they wish to change providers.

Existing Home Care Agreements may be varied through mutual consent and consultation between the consumer and provider to include an exit amount.

An exit amount can also be included as part of the negotiation of new Home Care Agreements entered into prior to 27 February 2017 as agreed between the consumer and provider.

If exit amounts are included in Home Care Agreements (either new or varied) before 27 February 2017, the Department must be notified of the maximum exit amount before 26 February 2017. Notification is not needed for each client; it is only needed for the maximum exit amount.

From 27 February all exit amounts will be published on My Aged Care.