RAS and ACAT Pathways - Referrals contact the My Aged Care Contact Centre for registration and screening, clients with complex multiple care needs will be referred to the Aged Care Assessment Team for comprehensive assessment before being referred to services (which may include Residential Aged Care, Home Care Package or Transitional Aged Care) while clients requiring entry-level support will be referred to a Regional Assessment Service for home support assessment before being referred to appropriate services (which may include the Commonwealth Home Support Program).

Overview – New referral pathways

From 1 July, My Aged Care will introduce a central, streamlined pathway for assessment and referrals into aged care services for people aged over 65. My Aged Care incorporates a website and phone-based screening process conducted by the My Aged Care contact centre. The National Screening and Assessment Form (NSAF) used by the contact centre should determine whether clients should receive face-to-face assessment by a Regional Assessment Service (RAS) for entry-level support and linkage to services provided under the Commonwealth Home Support Services (CHSP); or whether clients with more complex and multiple care needs require assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) for referral to the appropriate services such as home care, residential or transitional care.

Service providers will be able to make one electronic referral to My Aged Care for multiple services for a client, with the development of a streamlined and consistent client referrals process across local health districts, and the use of a central client record.

Implementing Wellness and Reablement

Integral to the changes to Aged Care are concepts of wellness and reablement, seeking to work with people and their carers to maximise their independence and autonomy. The wellness approach involves a holistic or whole person view, and encourages clients having difficulty with activities of daily living to increase their ability – to ‘do with’, rather than ‘do for’. The My Aged Care RAS will aim to understand the client’s needs, abilities and strengths, and use this information to develop the client’s support plan, with targeted interventions that work towards a person’s goal or desired outcome.

Read more about Wellness and Reablement.

What is the Regional Assessment Service (RAS)?

The RAS is a national assessment workforce, operating at a regional level in all states and territories (except Victoria and Western Australia).

Since 1 July 2015, the RAS have been conducting face-to-face assessments of older people seeking entry-level support at home, provided under the CHSP. Assessment, short term case management and client care coordination services previously provided by HACC Providers are now delivered by RAS. Most regions operate with between two and four RAS organisations, to fully support the local population.

NSW Health has been selected as one of thirteen successful agencies who operate a RAS following an open tender process.

The role of Regional Assessment Services under My Aged Care

Core functions delivered by the RAS are:

  • assessment of clients, with a reablement focus
  • matching and referring assessed clients to appropriate CHSP Services (and other funded aged care services)
  • reassessment of existing clients when their circumstances change significantly.

What has changed for clients?

Clients wanting to access services through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme will need to contact My Aged Care for initial eligibility screening either electronically or by phone.

After the My Aged Care contact centre identifies their level of need, the client will undergo either a home support assessment or a comprehensive assessment (by an existing Aged Care Assessment Team).

What will change for staff?

Staff will need to refer all clients needing CHSP services through the My Aged Care referrals pathway for screening and RAS assessment.

NSW Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs)

What is the role of ACATs?

Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) conduct face-to-face assessments with clients to determine their eligibility for aged care services to best meet their needs, and may include:

  • approval for a care- coordinated home care package to help clients continue living independently at home
  • approval for residential aged care
  • approval for residential respite or transitional care services
  • providing information about other home care support available in the area
  • giving help to access the care clients require
  • providing help to arrange residential respite care, if needed.

ACATs involve clients, their carers, and service providers in the assessment and care planning process. NSW ACATs will transition to using the My Aged Care system on 4 February 2016.

What will change after 4 February 2016?

ACATs will continue to conduct face-to-face comprehensive assessments to determine a client’s eligibility for care under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Aged Care Act), however the pathway to access ACATs will change.

From 4 February, all referrals for ACAT assessment will need to be referred to My Aged Care. The only exception is for ACAT referrals for public and private hospital inpatients. These referrals should be referred directly to the ACAT.

Additional changes for ACATs will include:

  • the use of a new assessment tool, the National Screening and Assessment Form (NSAF)
  • an increased focus on wellness and reablement, as assessors work with clients to create goal-oriented care plan, and recommend services that help clients achieve these goals.oviding help to arrange residential respite care, if needed.

ACAT transition to My Aged Care

The Ministry of Health is working with local health districts to support them through the transition period. The Ministry of Health will also closely monitor the outcomes of the Victorian Demonstration Project in the Kingston ACAS, to learn from their experiences during their early transition to the My Aged Care system.

What will the Referral Pathways look like for ACATs?


Current as at: Wednesday 19 July 2017
Contact page owner: Aged Care Unit