The Australian Government Department of Health is currently delivering $17.7 billion in aged care reforms together with the aged care sector. Our vision is for aged care services to be accessible, high quality and to care for senior Australians with respect and dignity.
In this issue, find out about additional investment to improve aged care. Learn about updates to the My Aged Care website and how to support veterans in aged care.
Additional $632.6 million investment to improve aged care
The Australian Government has announced a further $632.6 million investment into the aged care reforms as part of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) update.
The additional budget will continue to strengthen our response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommendations across home care, residential care services, sustainability, quality and safety, workforce and governance.
Read Minister Hunt and Minister Colbeck’s media release for details.
Thank you and looking forward to 2022
It’s been a busy year in 2021 in aged care. Thank you for your support and participation in the many changes underway to improve the lives of senior Australians.
We are progressing over 70 reform projects and together have implemented many changes, such as expanding home care packages, implementing food and nutrition reports and increased funding for 24/7 dementia support.
We’ve engaged with thousands of you on reforms such as quality standards, the support at home program and residential funding reform. Over 21,000 people participated in 11 reform webinars, adding knowledge and experience to the aged care reforms.
We look forward to your continued engagement in 2022 and working towards more positive changes and improvements across aged care.
Operational hours over the holiday period
Department of Health
Christmas shutdown will run from 3pm Friday 24 December 2021 until Tuesday 4 January 2022.
My Aged Care
The My Aged Care contact centre (1800 200 422) and provider and assessor helpline (1800 836 799) will be closed on the national public holidays over Christmas:
- Saturday 25 December 2021
- Monday 27 December 2021
- Saturday 1 January 2022
- Monday 3 January 2022.
Otherwise, normal contact centre hours will apply:
- 8am to 8pm weekdays
- 10am to 2pm Saturdays.
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
The Commission will be operating and managing incoming enquiries throughout the period via email@example.com or 1800 951 822.
Centre for Growth and Translational Research
The Australian Government has funded Flinders University to set up a new research centre to advance on-the-ground research into aged care best practice.
The centre will help aged care providers and their workforce, translate aged care research into their day-to-day work.
Initial research will focus on how care and clinical activities are organised, delivered by different workers, and deployed in different care settings.
First year priorities are:
- dementia care
- restorative care and rehabilitation
- mental health and wellbeing
- social isolation.
Find out more on the department’s website.
Updates to the My Aged Care website
The My Aged Care website has been updated to ensure clearer, more accessible information for senior Australians.
The new features include:
- a refreshed home page to make it easier to understand the process of getting aged care services
- enhanced content and visual representations to make costs and fees on the Understanding Costs page easier to understand
- updated information on the ‘Assessment outcomes’ and ‘Connecting with providers’ pages.
Find out more on the My Aged Care website.
Supporting veterans in aged care
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) provides resources for veterans, their families and those that work in aged care. This includes:
- the veteran's guide to living independently
- moving into an aged care home
- DVA Community Nursing services guide.
There are also a series of videos and webinars available about how veterans can use DVA services.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Services Australia Aged Care Quarterly Review 15 January 2022
Services Australia reviews the costs of aged care four times a year to align the cost of a person’s aged care services with changes in their financial circumstances. This happens in January, March, July and September.
The next Quarterly Review for residential care and home care will take place on 15 January 2022, with a date of effect of 1 January 2022.
Services Australia will send letters to aged care providers and care recipients as soon as possible after the Quarterly Review.
Please note the online claiming system for home care will be unavailable from 8pm Friday 14 January 2022 to 8am Monday 17 January 2022 while Quarterly Review tasks are undertaken.
You can read more at: Schedule of Subsidies and Supplements for Aged Care, Schedule of Fees and Charges and Services Australia website.
Apply now: Business Improvement Fund Round 2
Applications are now open for the Business Improvement Fund Round 2 through the GrantConnect website.
The Business Improvement Fund gives short-term grants to eligible residential aged care providers experiencing financial challenges. The grants support small to medium size providers (7 or fewer facilities) located in regional, rural and remote areas.
Find out more on the department’s website.
Improved payment arrangements: Home care claim tips
Below are tips to help with your Home Care Package program claims:
- By 31 December 2021, you must report on Commonwealth unspent funds for each care recipient.
- By 28 February 2022, you must decide whether to opt-in for each care recipient to draw-down on Commonwealth unspent funds to pay for care and services.
- You have up to 70 days from a care recipient’s departure to adjust care events, finalise outstanding invoice amounts and submit as part of your monthly claim.
For more information go to the Q&A fact sheet.