Historically, if a person needed extra help to stay at home they often received services through the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program. They were assessed by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS) and were then deemed eligible to receive services from the list of service types which HACC provided. They were then referred to an agency who provided those types of services. Consumer Directed Care is a much more flexible service delivery model. It enables the package holder to determine what services they receive and who they want to deliver those services. The package is still held by the agency of their choice on their behalf but the package holder determines:
- What services they receive. Services are not restricted to “Service Types” as is the case under the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program. A package holder can also purchase items of equipment which will help them to maintain their independence at home.
- Who is to provide those service. A package holder can decide who is to deliver the services they want and is no longer restricted to a particular service provider who in the past generally provided all the services themselves. Package holders can “shop around” for a service that suits them and at a price they deem value for money. They can purchase services from more than one provider.
- Who is the Case Manager. A package holder can decide to manage their resources themselves or decide to have their package managed by an agency. If the latter, the agency will charge a fee for the service.
In all cases, there are some limitations on how package funds can be used.