Care minutes adjustments
The Australian Government is adjusting the allocation of care minutes associated with each Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) class.
This change will take effect from 1 October 2023 coinciding with the commencement of mandatory care minutes. This will allow the residential aged care sector time to make any adjustments to staffing levels that may be needed.
Most services will only see a very small change in their service-level care minutes targets, because quarterly care minutes targets are averaged across all residents in a service.
The care minutes adjustments will better align each service’s average care time responsibility with its overall AN-ACC class funding and will better match care time with residents’ needs. This is consistent with the flexible design of the AN-ACC funding model, with care minutes adjustments expected based on the latest costing evidence of relative care time between different resident types.
The care minutes adjustments do not change the sector-level care minutes responsibility to deliver an average of 200 minutes per resident per day, including 40 registered nurse minutes, from 1 October 2023 (increasing to 215 minutes, including 44 registered nurse minutes, from 1 October 2024).
Changes to care minutes allocations
Under the AN-ACC funding model, each residential aged care resident receives an independent assessment and is assigned an AN‑ACC class or a respite class. Each class has specific minimum care minutes that reflect the expected care needs of residents in that class.
For information on how care minutes allocations are changing for each AN-ACC class from 1 October 2023, see Section 4.4 of the Care minutes and 24/7 registered nurse responsibility guide.
How this change affects a service’s care minutes targets
Services that have more residents with higher care needs (higher AN-ACC classes) will be required to deliver more care time with registered nurses, enrolled nurses and personal care workers, better matching care time with residents’ needs and the higher AN-ACC funding these services receive.
Services that have more residents with lower care needs (lower AN-ACC classes) will have a reduction in the amount of care time required to be delivered by registered nurses, enrolled nurses and personal care workers. This ensures these services are not required to deliver care minutes in excess of their AN-ACC funding.
How a service can access their new care minutes targets
Providers will be able to access their actual service-level care minutes targets in September 2023, before these apply and become mandatory on 1 October 2023, in the My Aged Care Service and Support Portal.
Support for the aged care workforce
The Government is supporting residential aged care services to offer more care time for higher needs residents with resources, increased funding and workforce initiatives. For more information, see Aged care workforce.