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Information for Aged Care Providers
21 December 2018

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

Information for Aged Care Providers

Issue 2018/23

In this issue:

Home Care: Residential Care:

Operational hours over the holiday period

My Aged Care

The My Aged Care contact centre (1800 200 422) and provider and assessor helpline (1800 836 799) will be closed on the national public holidays over Christmas:

  • Tuesday 25 December 2018
  • Wednesday 26 December 2018
  • Tuesday 1 January 2019

Otherwise, normal contact centre hours will apply:

  • 8am to 8pm weekdays
  • 10am to 2pm Saturdays

Department of Health

Christmas shutdown will run from 3pm Monday 24 December 2018 until 8:30am Wednesday 2 January 2019.

Consultation – streamlined consumer assessment for aged care

The department has released a discussion paper to consult with the aged care sector and interested parties on the design of the streamlined consumer assessment mode.

This relates to the Government’s 2018-19 Budget measure to design and implement a new framework for streamlined consumer assessments, to be delivered by a national assessment workforce from 2020.

For more information, and to provide your input, visit the Consultation Hub. The consultation closes on Monday, 11 February 2019.

Check for valid ACAT approval

The department has received a number of enquiries from providers about when an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment is required. A subsidy cannot be paid to an approved provider for providing care to a person, unless the person is approved under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act) as a care recipient.

An ACAT assessment is required if a person is seeking access to aged care services that are funded under the Act, such as:

  • Residential Care
  • Flexible Care in the form of Transition Care or Short-Term Restorative Care
  • Residential Respite Care
  • a Home Care Package.

For a provider to claim subsidy for a Home Care Package, the care recipient has to also have been assigned a Home Care Package and entered into a Home Care Agreement with a provider before the take-up deadline.

More information can be found on the department’s website.

2017-18 Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997 now available

The 2017-18 Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997 is now available to download on the GEN Aged Care Data website.

The report details the operation of Australia’s aged care system during the 2017–18 financial year as well as a snapshot of the system as a whole. It is delivered to Parliament each year by the Minister in accordance with section 63-2 of the Aged Care Act 1997.

For any enquires about the report, please email agedcarereporting@health.gov.au.

Home care and the Australian Consumer Law

Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers have rights when buying home care products or services.

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).

To assist consumers to understand their rights, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has developed a consumer brochure - Home care – know your consumer rights.

You can request hard copies of the brochure to distribute to consumers by:

  • emailing cdcproject@accc.gov.au
  • providing the quantity you are seeking and how you will use and/or distribute them.

Limited stock is available.

Resources for home care providers are available to download from the ACCC website.

Specialist Dementia Care Program roll out

The Australian Government is starting to roll out the Specialist Dementia Care Program (SDCP).

The program will provide care for people exhibiting very severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), who are unable to be appropriately cared for by mainstream aged care services.

The SDCP will offer specialised, transitional residential support, focussing on reducing or stabilising symptoms over time.

The department has advertised a targeted grant opportunity for a prototype SDCP service. The next round of 14 SDCP grant opportunities will be advertised in early 2019. This first phase of specialist dementia care units will be operational in early 2020.

We will provide further updates as grant opportunities become available.

For more information on the SDCP, visit the department’s website.

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