Information for the Aged Care Sector newsletter #15: new diversity videos, Home Care Package provider stocktake, and more

This newsletter provides important information on matters affecting the aged care sector, including aged care initiatives, programs and processes.

Date published:
Health sector

We encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce, particularly your communications teams, and encourage them to subscribe for future updates.

In addition to the newsletter, we also send announcements which provide short snippets of targeted information and are sent as required. To help ensure you haven't missed any important information from us, we've added links to recent announcements including all COVID-19 updates.

Announcements since the last newsletter:

The department has also distributed these 'Protecting Older Australians' and 'COVID-19 vaccine' updates:

Help us grow the care and support sector

Australians looking for a diverse and rewarding job are being encouraged to consider care and support work in the Australian Government’s new national campaign A Life Changing Life.

The care and support sector, which includes aged care, disability support and veterans’ support, is one of the fastest growing in the country. By 2050, Australia will need the services of around one million aged care workers.

This campaign will help the Australian Government deliver on its $17.7 billion aged care reform package to grow a strong and sustainable aged care workforce and ensure safer, quality care for senior Australians.

We encourage you to share information about the campaign with your networks, using the campaign supporter kit.

For more information, visit A Life Changing Life website.

New videos showcasing diversity and inclusion in aged care

The Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing has launched two good practice videos for the aged care sector:

  • Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
  • Innovative Approaches to Inclusive Practice

In the videos, leaders in the aged care sector cover:

  • their vision and experiences for culturally safe and appropriate aged care
  • some of their processes, learnings and strategies for improvement
  • positive outcomes resulting from their commitment to diversity and inclusion for all older people
  • innovations as a response to COVID-19.

You can watch the videos on the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing website.

Providing culturally safe and appropriate care that is tailored to the needs of each individual is central to Standard 1 in the Aged Care Quality Standards. Seeking out tools, training and information that supports the delivery of care that is inclusive is a recommended action in the Action Plan under the Aged Care Diversity Framework shared actions to support all diverse older people, a guide for aged care providers.

Find more resources and practice guides to support diversity and inclusion in aged care on the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing website.

Contact for more information.

Home Care Package Provider Stocktake

The Home Care Package (HCP) Provider Stocktake will be open from 20 September 2021 to 19 November 2021.

The Stocktake seeks information on the types, volume and cost of care and services delivered under the HCP Program for the month of June 2021. It is open to all providers who had at least one care recipient on 30 June 2021.

The Stocktake is being administered through Forms Administration, who will send eligible providers an email before 20 September with instructions on how to complete it.

Providers are strongly encouraged to participate in the Stocktake, as feedback will be provided to the sector based on analysis of information received.

A list of the information requested in the Stocktake is available on the Forms Administration website.

Contact Forms Administration with any questions by:

Improved payment arrangements for home care providers

From September 2021, claims and payments will change under the improved payment arrangements (IPA) reform for Home Care Package providers.

To support this measure, the Department of Health has updated its information and Services Australia will update the home care payment statement which will impact the reconciliation process for providers.

The five key changes are:

  • From September, claims for the actual cost of services delivered will be made by submitting an aggregated invoice amount for each care recipient in each claim period.
  • Any Commonwealth unspent subsidy will accrue in a Home Care Account for each care recipient from 1 September 2021.
  • Report any Commonwealth unspent amount currently held for care recipients. This is optional from September, but mandatory from your December 2021 claim.
  • Opt-in to return any Commonwealth unspent amount currently held for care recipients. Elect to opt-in up to 28 February 2022.
  • There is a 70-day time limit on retrospective changes when a care recipient departs. This applies to events and in reconciling outstanding amounts.

What you can do to get ready:

  • Get your claims up to date. Make sure you include the months you haven’t provided care to any care recipients. Submit $0 claims for those months so your service is up to date. Only one claim can be finalised per day.
  • Reconcile the Commonwealth unspent amount for departed care recipients and continue to report this to Services Australia.

Educational resources to help you and your staff with the IPA changes will be uploaded in the coming weeks to Services Australia’s Education Resources Gateway.

For more information about IPA, including an updated Provider Fact Sheet and a new Provider Question & Answer Fact Sheet, visit the Department of Health website.

Clarification of Social Support Group arrangements under CHSP for HCP clients

In August 2020 the department advised the aged care sector of new Social Support Group arrangements under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) for Home Care Package (HCP) clients.

These arrangements support clients accessing Social Support Group services through the CHSP who transition to an HCP, to continue to access the Social Support Group as a CHSP client.

A component of the advice provided was incorrect. The department apologises for any confusion caused and clarifies that the legislation does not permit these clients to use their individualised package budget to pay the existing client contribution fee. Clients must pay the client contribution fee set by providers under the CHSP principles-based Client Contribution Framework using private funds. The client’s package should not be charged cost recovery fees or be asked to cease the service after transitioning to an HCP.

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