My Aged Care e-Referrals free up precious time for healthcare workers
You can now refer your patients for assessment for Australian Government-subsidised aged care services directly from your practice management system using HealthLink e-Referral.
More than 1,600 Australian practices are already using e-Referral. e-Referral is intuitive, easy to use and accessible through a patient’s electronic medical record (EMR) by selecting ‘My Aged Care Referral’ from the HealthLink referred services tab.
Patient information is pre-populated in the form, saving you time on manual data entry and reducing the risk of errors. It’s then sent securely and in real-time directly from your EMR to My Aged Care for assessment.
How it works
You simply open the patient’s electronic medical record inside your PMS and select ‘My Aged Care Referral’ from the HealthLink referred services tab.
The e-Referral form extracts the relevant patient details from the EMR, requiring very little manual data entry.
You review, add any additional information and attachments as required and submit it safely and securely from your Practice Management system to My Aged Care for assessment.
Key benefits of e-Referral
The Australian Government’s My Aged Care service is the entry point for older Australians to access government-funded aged care. GPs support patients to access services by referring them to My Aged Care for an assessment. Depending on their needs, your patient may be referred for a:
- Home Support Assessment to determine their eligibility to receive entry level Commonwealth Home Support (CHSP) services, which allow an older person to remain living at home. These assessments are usually conducted face-to-face in the patient’s place of residence by a RAS (Regional Assessment Service) assessor; or a
- Comprehensive Assessment to determine their eligibility for a Home Care Package, or for residential, respite, short-term restorative and transition care. Patients may also be referred to CHSP services where appropriate. Comprehensive assessments are undertaken by an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) assessor in a face-to-face context, preferably a patient’s usual place of residence.
My Aged Care e-Referral is quicker and simpler than the existing online Make a Referral form on the My Aged Care website. It is currently integrated with four practice management systems: Best Practice, MedicalDirector, Genie and Medtech Evolution.
The e-Referral form is intuitive, easy to use and will be accessible through the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR). It requires very little manual data entry because it extracts information from the EMR, with the user validating patient details, and adding additional information and attachments as required.
Once submitted, the e-Referral is safely and securely sent electronically directly from your practice management system to My Aged Care for assessment of your patient’s aged care needs.
E-Referrals were introduced in response to GP feedback that the existing referral processes were too time consuming. In particular, fax referrals take longer to process, which results in patients waiting longer to be referred for assessment. E-referrals are integrated with existing PMSs and pre-populate available patient data.
To send an e-Referral, you just need to check patient details, enter information about their aged care needs and add any necessary attachments to support an assessment. This makes e-Referrals the quickest and easiest way to refer patients to My Aged Care.
The My Aged Care ‘Make a Referral’ form requires you to visit the My Aged Care website and manually enter all the required information. E-Referrals are integrated into your PMS and pre-populate patient information so you don’t need to visit the My Aged Care website, saving you time.
The e-Referral form is based on the current My Aged Care website referral form so is familiar to people who have used it before.
The e-Referral process is designed for people who aren’t receiving government-funded aged care services and are not registered with My Aged Care.
The e-Referral form will check if your patient meets the minimum needs and age requirements before sending the referral to My Aged Care. This includes:
- How much assistance your patient needs with everyday tasks; and
- That your patient is aged 65 years or older (50 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people).
Patients who are aged 50 years or older (45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) who are on a low income, homeless or at risk of being homeless are encouraged to call My Aged Care to discuss their situation.
If your patient is already registered with My Aged Care, they can contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to request a new assessment or they can talk to their service provider if they wish to have a support plan review.
If you’re not sure if your patient is currently receiving aged care services, you can phone My Aged Care to find out more information before you decide to make a referral. You’ll need your patient’s consent, or that of their legal representative, to obtain this information.
If your submission has been successful, you’ll get a red message at the top of the form confirming it has been sent and acknowledged.
If your submission is unsuccessful, it will display an error message. In this case, please call the HealthLink help desk on 1800 125 036 (Option 4) or email [email protected].
To check if there are any outstanding referrals, you can access ‘Parked’ forms and resume them. Each PMS handles Parked forms differently so check out our user guides to see how you can access them.
The My Aged Care e-Referrals use end-to-end encryption to ensure privacy and security. Personal information and documents are retained securely within the My Aged Care system.
By default, the form will load the minimum information required by My Aged Care to create a record so that an assessment can be organised.
Anybody who currently has access to your PMS will be able to access My Aged Care e-Referrals. Depending on how your PMS is configured, it may be possible for practice nurses to submit an e-Referral. For more information on this, please contact HealthLink on 1800 125 036 (Option 4) or email [email protected].
E-Referrals are available on Best Practice, MedicalDirector,Genie, and Medtech Evolution, which make up more than 80% of the general practice PMS market in Australia.
Some older versions of these PMSs may not be compatible with the e-Referral form or may require some additional manual configuration. Please contact the HealthLink help desk on 1800 125 036 (Option 4) or email [email protected] for advice about how to access or enable the e-Referral form.
Referrals can be made via the My Aged Care website if you are unable to access e-Referrals.
All PMSs store e-Referrals in some type of inbox so you can refer back to what you have sent. However, in each PMS the name of the inbox and how you find it, is slightly different. For example, in MedicalDirector the inbox is called “letters” and when you select the “letters” tab you will see your past e-Referrals and messages.
If for some reason your e-Referral fails, an error message will appear. In the first instance, we recommend you call the HealthLink help desk on 1800 125 036 (Option 4) or email [email protected].
If it does fail, the information you already entered should be saved so you won’t have to complete the form again.
There are specific circumstances where health professionals may need to refer directly to a service provider. These circumstances are where there is an urgent need for a service based on the patient’s circumstances which, if not met immediately, may place the patient at risk. The services where this is likely to happen are:
- personal care
These services would be of a time-limited duration (two weeks) with a longer-term commitment only occurring after assessment.
The preferred method for health professionals to access urgent services is by contacting the service provider directly. The service provider will, if able, provide urgent care for the patient and subsequently refer the patient to My Aged Care for an assessment of ongoing service needs.
Acceptance of the referral for urgent care will be based on the provider’s capacity to take on new clients and the relative needs of clients awaiting services.
If you do not have contact details of a provider, you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or use the Find a provider tool to search for a provider.
Once you complete the initial needs identification questions, the e-Referral form will recommend a home support (RAS) or a comprehensive (ACAT) assessment. You will be able to accept the recommendation or choose the alternative assessment before you submit the e-Referral. Download the My Aged Care – National Screening and Assessment Form fact sheet for more information.
Your patient should hear from My Aged Care or an assessment organisation within three weeks. They will tell your patient if they are eligible for an assessment and arrange for an assessor to visit them.
If they haven’t heard anything in this time, your patient can contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
We advise providing your patient with the brochure After you’ve registered with My Aged Care for information on what they can expect after they have been referred and how they can track their progress.
You can order brochures from National Mailing & Marketing by emailing [email protected] or phoning (02) 6269 1025.