Gatekeepers to home and community care services: the link between client characteristics and source of referral
Objectives. To identify characteristics associated with the likelihood of a client receiving a referral to the Home and Community Care (HACC) program from various sources. Methods. Data were collected from 73 809 home care clients during 2007-08. Binary logistic and multinomial logistic regression were used to investigate the likelihood of a client being referred by health workers v. non-health workers. Results. Females and clients cared for by their parents were less likely to receive referrals from health workers than non-health workers after confounding variables were controlled for. While poorer functional ability of clients increased the probability of receiving a referral from a health worker, the opposite was true for those with behavioural problems. Over 43% of the sample either self-referred or was referred by family or friends. Conclusions. Eligible individuals may miss out on services unless they or their family take the initiative to refer. There is a need for improved methods and incentives to support and encourage health workers to refer eligible individuals to the program.
Australian Health Review