Date published: 
22 December 2020
Type: 
Newsletter
Intended Audience: 
Health sector

Operational hours over the holiday period

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:

  • Friday 25 December 2020
  • Saturday 26 December 2020
  • Monday 28 December 2020
  • Friday 1 January 2021

Otherwise, normal hours will apply:

  • 8am to 8pm weekdays
  • 10am to 2pm Saturdays

Department of Health

Christmas shutdown will run from 3pm Thursday 24 December 2020 until 8:30am Monday 4 January 2021.

Release of CARE-IT Report

On 26 November 2020, the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, virtually launched the Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council’s (ACIITC) Capabilities in Aged & Community Care Readiness: An Evaluation of Innovation & Technology (CARE-IT) Report. The ACIITC was funded by the department to deliver this significant research report.

The CARE-IT Report assesses the innovation and technology capabilities and readiness of the aged and community care sector industry in five areas:

  • business support and administration
  • reporting and online access to government
  • surveillance and monitoring technologies
  • telehealth
  • smart care at home technologies.

The ACIITC is working with the department to advance the nine recommendations detailed in the report. You can download the report from the ACIITC website.

Updated Advance Care Planning Aged Care Implementation Guide

The Aged Care Quality Standards highlight the importance of dignity and choice, so that people can make informed choices about their care.

Advance Care Planning Australia has updated its ACP Aged Care Implementation Guide.

The guide can help aged care providers to ensure that advance care planning is implemented ethically and legally. It also provides advice on making sure aged care providers' advance care planning activity complies with the Aged Care Quality Standards.

Communication Cards and Aged Care Signage expanded to 57 languages 

The PICAC alliance helps aged care providers deliver culturally appropriate care to people from CALD communities. The Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing (Victorian PICAC) has updated their very popular Communication Cards and Aged Care Signage to include 20 new languages. They are free to download from the Centre’s website.

The new languages include Amharic, Assyrian, Bengali, Burmese, Chaldean, Danish, Dari, Dinka, Karen, Latvian, Lithuanian, Nepali, Oromo, Pashtun, Punjabi, Slovenian, Somali, Tetum, Thai, Tigrinya.

Communication Cards depict a wide range of daily activities and situations in aged care and can be used to prompt discussion, assist with directions, clarify a client’s needs, etc. They cover themes such as meals, personal care, feelings, pain, lifestyle, medical staff and family.

Aged Care Signage is designed to assist residents in aged care facilities to navigate their way around their home or service and aim to minimise confusion. The signs include words such as kitchen, dining room, keep out, danger and this way to the garden.

LGBTI inclusive practice review tool for services supporting or caring for older people

Val's Review Tool is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse and intersex (LGBTI) inclusive practice review tool for services supporting or caring for older people. It uses the Rainbow Tick Standards and aims to support ageing and aged care services to become culturally safe and inclusive for older LGBTI people.

The tool will help providers review their current LGBTI-inclusive practice and identify gaps and areas for improvement and action. Providers can also use their results to assist with diversity requirements for Aged Care Quality Standards (ACQS) review processes. The resource interprets and links each Rainbow Tick indicator with the related ACQS and National Diversity Framework LGBTI Action Plan.

The resource has been produced in two full versions:

Other LGBTI resources are available on the Latrobe University website.

Home Care Packages Program Data Report 1st Quarter 2020-21

The department has released the Home Care Packages Program Data Report covering the period from 1 July to 30 September 2020.

The report is available from the AIHW GEN aged care data website.

Improved Payment Arrangements for Home Care: Phase 1 implementation update

From 1 February 2021, Home Care providers will be funded in arrears rather than in advance, based on the number of days care recipients are receiving care.

What providers need to do:

December 2020:

  • Ensure you are up-to-date with claiming. You will receive your last advance (for January 2021) by the end of December 2020.

January 2021:

  • Submit your December 2020 claim as normal. This will not be affected by the changes.
  • You will not receive an advance for February 2021.

February 2021:

  • Submit your January 2021 claim as normal. This claim will reconcile against the January 2021 advance you received in December 2020.

March 2021:

  • Submit your February 2021 claim as normal.
  • Services will be paid their full claim amount minus any held-over amounts or applicable adjustments.

Services should continue to report any Commonwealth unspent amounts as per existing rules.

You can use the new Aged Care Provider Portal to catch-up on your claiming easily online.