Medium to High Level Care

Medium to High Level Care

If you require help for ongoing or complex support needs to keep you independent in your own home, more support and assistance to coordinate services may be appropriate. In this case the ACAT assessment team may recommend the Home Care Package (HCP) program.

If you started on CHSP you can ask to be reassessed for HCP. If you are not eligible for HCP there are private care providers that you can consider. In this case you will need to cover all costs.

Aged care providers can also help you access specialist palliative care services if needed. Find out more about palliative care.

HCP funding

HCP is for when you need more help than provided by CHSP to stay in your own home. This includes support for complex care needs requiring health professional assistance. It also includes coordination of the services you receive.

HCP supports you by providing and coordinating: [1]

  • Services to keep you well and independent including personal care, nursing, allied health and therapy services, meal preparation and diet, and specialised support
  • Services to keep you safe in your home including domestic assistance, home maintenance, minor home modifications, goods equipment and assistive technology, respite
  • Services to keep you connected to your community including transport and social support
  • Respite services

ACAT/ACAS assessment will be used to decide the HCP level of care to be provided. This ranges from basic care (level 1) to high care needs (level 4). The amount of money available increases with each HCP level. This means at the higher levels you have access to more hours of care and to more health professional care for complex needs.

Once approved you will need to wait until a package is assigned to you. Following this you will need to find a provider registered with MyAgedCare.

Once you have identified and signed on with a provider the HCP money will be transferred to them along with a contribution payment from you. This will be used to pay administrative and case management charges to the provider and to purchase services to support you. The hours of care provided will depend on the amount of money available and on the services and charges. This will vary between providers.

Knowing what others are paying or receiving can help you to make an informed choice. To help you compare what is being offered by different providers, below are some average charges and hours of support. You should always discuss this with your provider to understand how the costs and services are calculated and what you can expect. Remember that some providers charge an exit fee if you decide to leave.

Management fees: Care management and coordination fees and administration fees are set by the provider and vary. To help you compare providers the following lists average charges as a proportion of available funds in 2021: [2]

  • Care management and coordination costs 10.5%
  • Administration & support costs 22.0%

Hours of care: The following from COTA is a useful guide to compare the different HCP levels. You should talk with your provider for a better estimate as this will vary depending on costs and services.

  • Level 1: approx. 2 hours of support per week (on average)
  • Level 2: approx. 3-4 hours of support per week (on average)
  • Level 3: approx. 7-9 hours of support per week (on average)
  • Level 4: approx. 10-13 hours of support per week (on average)

Cost of services: The following from the Australian Government summarises average costs for home care package services across Australia as of 30 September 2022. This can help you to assess whether the prices quoted are reasonable.

  • Nursing $103 per hour
  • Light gardening $65 per hour
  • In home respite $60 per hour
  • Personal care $60 per hour
  • Cleaning and household tasks $60 per hour

Other support

In addition to support from your GP and through HCP there are other support programs available:

Transition care package – this short-term program is provided by health professionals after a hospital stay. The aim is to help you regain functional independence and confidence to remain in your own home. Ask hospital staff to arrange for assessment in hospital. Depending on how much support you need this might be provided for up to 12 weeks in your home or during a short stay in an aged care home. You cannot combine this with respite care or short-term restorative care

Hospital and emergency care – you have access to hospital and emergency services as needed. Costs of public hospital services are mostly covered by State and Territory governments and through Medicare. Ambulance insurance is required to cover the cost of this service. If you have private health insurance coverage for palliative care included as part of hospital services, you can also access care from a private hospital.

Information on state or territory ambulance services can be found on the following websites (Ambulance cover is also available through private health insurance):

Page last updated 17 February 2023

  • References

  1. Australian Government Department of Health. Home Care Packages Program Operational Manual: A Guide for Home Care Providers. Version 1.3. Canberra, ACT: Australian Government Department of Health; 2023 Jan.
  2. StewartBrown. Aged Care Financial Performance Survey Sector Report (3.74MB pdf). Chatswood, NSW: StewartBrown; 2021 Jun.