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Information for the Aged Care Sector
2 August 2019

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Australian Government Department of Health: Message to the Aged Care Sector

Information for the Aged Care Sector

Issue 2019/10

In this issue:

Home Care: Residential Care:

Accounting and Business Advisory Services commencing soon

Residential and home care service providers will soon be able to apply for free independent business advisory services to help them review their operations and provide advice on business management and financial strategies.

Two tiers of services will be available, both targeting the identification of strategies to help improve the provider’s business management and operations:

  • Tier 1 services will be delivered through a desktop review
  • Tier 2 services will be delivered by both desktop review and time spent on site at the provider’s premises.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) will deliver the independent advisory services and are currently undertaking initial pilot reviews. It is expected that access to the service will be more broadly available from mid-August 2019. Further advice will be provided when the online application form is available.

Future of Ageing Awards 2019

Nominations are now open for the first Future of Ageing Awards which will recognise leadership, innovation and collaboration across Australia's aged care industry.

Founded by Inside Ageing, the Awards invite aged care providers to showcase their organisation and share industry best practice.

There are 15 award categories that focus on leadership and innovation in aged care.

Nominations close on 18 September 2019.

For further information and to submit nominations visit the Future of Ageing Awards website.

Reminder to complete home care pricing information

Since July 2018, home care providers have been given information, and supported to transition to the 1 July 2019 home care pricing requirements. This includes the mandatory publishing of pricing information in the new home care pricing schedule, displayed on the My Aged Care website.

The My Aged Care Provider Portal is now enforcing the completion of all mandatory pricing information through required system fields. This functionality has been in place since 21 July 2019, following a transitional period to allow providers to adjust.

Providers should:

  • note pricing information must be completed against all of their operational My Aged Care service items
  • review their pricing information on the My Aged Care website, noting updates will appear by the next day
  • be aware the department is monitoring home care providers’ compliance with this requirement and will be taking compliance action, where appropriate.

Resources and further information are available on the department’s website.

Home care and the Australian Consumer Law

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) would like to remind providers that under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers have rights when buying home care services or products.

Consumers have the right to:

  • be treated fairly and not be pressured into signing anything
  • be given accurate information before they buy
  • cancel a faulty service
  • receive a repair, replacement or refund if something goes wrong
  • change provider at any time (exit fees may apply).

If you provide services and products to a consumer, including those with a government-funded Home Care Package, you will need to make sure you are complying with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, including the Australian Consumer Law. This is in addition to your responsibilities under the Aged Care laws. For more information, please refer to the ACCC business publication ‘Home care services – know your business rights and obligations under the competition and consumer law’.

To assist consumers to understand their rights, the ACCC has also developed consumer brochures:

You can request hard copies of these brochures to distribute to consumers by emailing cdcproject@accc.gov.au. As stock is limited, include the quantity you are seeking and how you will use and/or distribute them.

ACFI review records requirement

Approved providers of residential aged care are reminded that under section 7 of the Records Principles 2014, it is a requirement to keep an Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) Answer Appraisal Pack to support each ACFI claim. This includes ensuring the pack:

  • is up to date and accessible to the department when requested
  • records the assessed care needs of the resident at the time of the ACFI appraisal and how the care was to be delivered.

Under the Aged Care Act 1997, the department may ask for further assistance from providers during ACFI reviews which could include additional documentation, undertaking staff interviews and resident observations.

Residential Aged Care Funding Reform update

The department would like to thank those residential aged care facilities that submitted an EOI to participate in the Residential Aged Care Funding Reform Trial.

The EOI aimed to gauge how many facilities are available to participate ahead of appointing assessment delivery partners to assist in planning the geographic distribution of trial sites.

The next step is to engage assessment delivery partners through a Request for Tender (RFT). The department will hold an industry briefing on 9 August 2019 to explain the tender process and answer questions. Please visit AusTender for more details. The presentation slides and copy of questions and answers will be published on AusTender after the presentation.

Once the RFT process is finalised the department will determine the geographic distribution of trial sites and residential facilities will then be advised if they have been selected to participate in the trial.

Details on a trial information session to update interested parties will be provided in the coming weeks.

Further information on the trial is available on the Residential Aged Care Funding Reform webpage which has recently been updated in response to user feedback. You can view the improved page on the department’s website.

MDFA SURVEY – Help evaluate the impact of digital training tools for Residential Aged Care Facilities 

Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA) has developed digital training tools for Residential Aged Care Facilities. They aim to help staff and families understand the visual needs of residents and better care for those with vision loss and blindness.

MDFA wishes to evaluate the reach, usefulness and impact of these resources and asks that you take a few moments to view the resources and complete the short online survey.

MDFA greatly values your input to help it better support residential aged care staff and residents.

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