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.
This newsletter looks a bit different, but it’s the same 'Information for the Aged Care Sector Newsletter' providing you with the latest in aged care from the department.
We’re working to improve the way we communicate with you and will continue to do so in the coming months.
In this issue, consumer experience interviews will be starting in early 2022 in residential care, we're seeking providers to help us trial new quality indicators, we're asking for your advice on what aged care accommodation should look like and there are new webinars, resources and training.
Have you say: Developing aged care quality measures and Star Ratings
The department is expanding the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program) in residential aged care and developing quality indicators for in-home aged care.
After a review of current evidence, we are now seeking your advice on which measures will support quality improvement and provide senior Australians with more information about the quality of aged care services.
The department is also developing Star Ratings to provide meaningful information about the quality of care in residential aged care services. We are seeking your input to help design the future Star Ratings system.
We invite you to have your say on these projects, with written consultations open until 10 December 2021.
To get involved, please click on the links via the Ageing and Aged Care Engagement Hub
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Get involved: Providers invited to trial quality measures
Residential and in-home aged care providers are invited to trial new quality measures for potential use in the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program).
A 6-week pilot will trial the use of new quality measures by aged care services in early 2022. The pilot will include:
- four quality indicators in residential aged care
- five quality indicators across in-home aged care
- consumer experience or quality of life measures in both residential and in-home aged care.
To get involved, please visit the Ageing and Aged Care Engagement Hub.
If you have any questions, please contact the project team:
- Residential aged care: QIpilotresidentialcare@au.pwc.com
- In-home aged care: QIpilothomecare@au.pwc.com
Have your say: New residential aged care design standards
We want to hear from you about how accommodation can best support the needs of senior Australians:
- what is important in the design of high-quality residential aged care accommodation
- what works well and what does not.
Your feedback and insights will help ensure accommodation best meets care needs for diverse populations. Help us to create:
- safer, more innovative residential aged care accommodation options
- accessibility and enablement, improving quality of life
- dementia-friendly services.
Webinar: Aged care funding reform, 1 December 2021
The department is hosting a range of webinars focused on changes to residential aged care funding.
The third webinar in our series provides the latest information and the chance to ask questions about key aged care funding reform activities:
- Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) progress
- Independent Hospital and Aged Care Pricing Authority (IHACPA) scope and role
- financial transparency and prudential reforms
- residential aged care consumer experience information.
This webinar is relevant for aged care executives including CEOs, CFOs, quality and assurance managers and residential aged care managers.
Resources to help manage, re-engage and recruit volunteers
The Volunteering Resource Hub is available to aged care providers to help increase and improve their volunteering programs. It includes:
- evidence-based policies, procedures, tools, videos, templates, guides and research to assist with all stages of managing volunteers
- resources to support re-engaging and recruiting volunteers.
COVID-19 restrictions have impacted on many volunteers’ ability to access and support their older friends in aged care. However, there are ways that aged care providers can support their return.
These resources are free to organisations and individuals to support effective volunteer management.
You can also contribute resources to the Hub. Contributions will be assessed to ensure they align with the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement and meet best-practice in volunteer management.
The Hub is an initiative of Volunteering Australia, funded by the Department of Social Services. Visit the Volunteering Resource Hub website.
Webinar: Employment of care and support workforce
The Australian Government is committed to growing a skilled and sustainable care and support workforce. The Department of Social Services has partnered with SEEK as part of the A Life Changing Life campaign. They are hosting webinars to help employers attract the right people to fill care and support roles.
Aged care providers are invited to join the next free webinar.
You will learn how to write a good job advertisement that appeals to today’s candidates.
Date: Tuesday 30 November 2021
Time: 1:30‑2:30pm AEDT
Guest speakers include Jodi Schmidt, CEO of the Human Services Skills Organisation (HSSO) and Stephanie Hutton, SEEK Success Manager.
LGBTI aged care awareness training
The department funds LGBTIQ+ Health Australia to deliver training to aged care workers to support them in meeting the unique needs of LGBTI+ senior Australians.
Providing training that supports those working with senior Australians from an LGBTI+ background is related to the Actions to Support LGBTI Elders: a Guide for Consumers action plan.
To sign up to the training, go to the Silver Rainbow training page on the LGBTIQ+ Health Australia website. For more information about diversity in aged care contact email@example.com
Aged Care Workforce Industry Council releases workforce insights
The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council has released the Aged Care Workforce Narrative.
It highlights 12 insights into the aged care workforce including recruitment and retention of workers, staff turnover, wages and conditions, and workforce training.
Providers can use the report to gain understanding about how workers feel about working in aged care.
The report is based on 109,000 survey responses of aged care workers from 2009 to 2019.
Read the workforce narrative on the Council’s website.
Reminder: Buying or selling a service can impact resident fees
Each Residential Aged Care Service (RACS) ID is considered an individual service under the Aged Care Act 1997 and in the aged care payment system.
Moving a resident to a different RACS ID triggers an automatic reassessment of means for that resident.
This means your residents’ fees and funding can be impacted if you move them to a different RACS ID when you buy or sell a service.
To minimise disruption, when buying or selling a service you should:
- maintain residents’ current location and RACS ID where possible
- not discharge residents from the service if they haven’t been moved
- vary resident and accommodation agreements by mutual consent to note the change in provider.
Learn more on the department's website.
Improved Payment Arrangements: Home care claim tips
Here are tips to help you with your Home Care claims. For more details go to the Q&A Fact Sheet.
- By 31 December 2021, you must report on 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 any Commonwealth unspent funds to pay for care and services. You have to do this even if their balance is $0.
- From 1 September 2021, all new care recipients assessed to pay income tested care fee must do so. The fee, where payable, is automatically deducted from the invoice amount. Providers must collect the fee regardless of whether the care recipient is using the full amount of their package.
- Eligible providers can apply for a Transitional Support Grant. Visit the GrantConnect website for more information.