Reminder: The consultation on new Aged Care Act is still open
The consultation on the foundations of the new Aged Care Act is open until 8 September 2023.
There are different ways to learn about the proposed foundations, including:
- watching the webinar recording
- reading the consultation paper and fact sheets
- attending an in-person forum.
The Council of the Ageing (COTA) and the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) are hosting in-person forums. These are a great option for older people, families and carers to share their thoughts and experiences. For more information on the forums, including locations and dates, and to register, visit the OPAN website.
COVID-19: Processing times for Aged Care Support Program Extension grant
We received over 11,000 applications for the Aged Care Support Program Extension grant. We are now taking all possible steps to process the remaining applications, including prioritising:
- applications from providers in financial distress
- low-cost claims
- exceptional circumstances applications.
All complete applications submitted before March 2023 have been finalised or are under active assessment.
Providers should be ready to submit all required information when requested to ensure processing times are as short as possible.
Extensions to requests for information will not be accepted after 31 August 2023.
From 31 August 2023, if requests have not been returned within 14 days we will finalise assessments based on the information to hand.
Grant information, including specific eligibility requirements, is available on GrantConnect (GO4863).
Future of the aged care market – consultation opportunity for providers
We invite aged care providers to join our strategic policy workshops to discuss the future of the aged care market.
The Department of Health and Aged Care is developing an Aged Care Market Strategy to assess the market impact of key aged care reforms, and identify how the aged care market can be better positioned to deliver improved outcomes for older people.
Have your say at a virtual workshop
Aged care providers are invited to join a strategic policy workshop to provide feedback on:
- what the future aged care market should look like, and
- how government should steward the market to achieve this.
Medication management in residential aged care
We are aware of instances where pharmacy charges for medication packaging and delivery are being passed on to permanent aged care residents.
Medication management for residents is the responsibility of aged care homes and cannot be charged to residents.
Some aged care homes will manage this services themselves while others may enter into commercial arrangements with a pharmacy for medication packaging services but this cost cannot be passed onto the care recipient either directly or indirectly.
Residents have the right to have their medications supplied by a pharmacy of their choice if they wish. If you would like to take this option, you should discuss this with your aged care home. These arrangements sometimes lead to additional costs.
Any aged care home resident who thinks they may have been wrongfully charged medication management fees can contact OPAN on 1800 700 600 to be connected to their local advocate.
When: Workshops will be scheduled in the coming weeks and held in September 2023.
Register your interest by Tuesday 5 Sep, 5pm (AEST) by emailing AgedCareMarket@health.gov.au. Workshop places are limited.
More information on the Aged Care Engagement Hub.
24/7 registered nurse supplement monthly payment
Residential aged care providers are reminded to submit their 24/7 registered nurse (RN) report before finalising August claims. This report must be done in the Government Provider Management System (GPMS)
If Services Australia receives the eligibility notification after the month’s claim is finalised, the 24/7 RN supplement payment will not be paid for that month and will be paid as a retrospective adjustment in the next approved claim.
If you were eligible to receive the July 24/7 RN supplement and did not receive it, this will be included in your August claim.
- 24/7 registered nurse supplement for residential aged care
- Services Australia Aged Care Provider Portal – Health Professional Education Resources.
Care minutes: check your allocations before they become mandatory
Care minutes targets for residential aged care services will become mandatory on 1 October 2023.
This means your service’s average care minutes targets may change to align with your overall care funding.
To prepare for these changes, check your service’s estimated care minutes targets using the AN-ACC funding and care minutes estimator now.
You can view the care minutes targets for the October-December quarter in the My Aged Care service and support portal from 15 September 2023.
Webinar reminder: Get your questions answered on mandatory care minutes
We would like to remind you we are hosting a webinar ahead of care minutes targets becoming mandatory on 1 October 2023.
When: Tuesday 5 September 2023 2pm to3pm (AEST)
We will discuss all mandatory requirements and how providers can prepare.
The webinar will include a live Q&A and you can also submit a question when you register. The webinar recording and presentation slides will be published on our website.
Coming soon: Care minutes and 24/7 registered nurse coverage in residential aged care to be published
Residential aged care providers are reminded that enrolled nurse care minutes and 24/7 registered nurse coverage will be published via the ‘Find a Provider’ tool on the My Aged Care website in the coming months.
Enrolled nurse care minutes will be published in October 2023, providing better insight into the skill-mix of care delivery.
24/7 registered nurse coverage and exemptions will be published in December 2023. Prior to publication on the My Aged Care website, information about 24/7 registered nurse coverage and exemptions will be available on our website.
This information will appear alongside the Star Ratings for each aged care home on My Aged Care, and will not impact calculation of Star Ratings at this time.
Nursing, allied health and personal care worker scholarships
Scholarships are now available for the current aged care workforce to develop their skills and gain qualifications.
The opportunity is open to
- enrolled and registered nurses,
- personal care workers
- allied health professionals.
Topics covered in the scholarship program include
- palliative care
- dementia care
- clinical gerontology
- behavioural management
- infection prevention and control.
- vocational education and training
- postgraduate allied health
- undergraduate and postgraduate nursing.
All scholarship recipients are eligible for a completion bonus upon successfully finishing their course.
A guaranteed number of scholarships are available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Applications close 10 October 2023.
For more information, visit the Australian College of Nursing website.
New Aged Care Knowledge Hub
A new online Knowledge Hub is available to support nurses in developing their career in aged care.
The Department of Health and Aged Care contracted the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) to develop the Knowledge Hub as part of the Aged Care Nursing Clinical Placements Program.
The Hub has resources, tools, and support for all nursing students as well as research and information specific to healthcare workers and providers in the aged care sector.
Visit the APNA website to access the Aged Care Knowledge Hub.
Volunteers and Volunteer Managers: New training and resources available
New training and resources are now available for volunteers and volunteer managers in aged care.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission have published new resources including videos, factsheets, and online modules.
Topics include the:
- Code of Conduct for Aged Care
- Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS)
- Complaints process.
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has also published OPAN resources for volunteers on:
- elder abuse
- the role of OPAN as an advocacy service.