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Information for Aged Care Providers
21 June 2019

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

Information for Aged Care Providers

Issue 2019/07

In this issue:

Home Care: Residential Care:

New My Aged Care website launching soon

The new My Aged Care website and enhanced service finder is expected to replace the current website on 24 June 2019.

The new website will make it easier for consumers to find information about aged care services and understand the process to access these services.

The department conducted user testing and consulted stakeholders to develop the new website.

Website enhancements include:

  • simple navigation and clear steps to access aged care services
  • new information on aged care written in plain English
  • an updated ‘Find a provider’ tool with faster search results, more filter options, improved transparency and comparability of home care pricing information, and consumer-friendly language.

Service provider content

While there are new re-directs in place, we encourage you to update your bookmarked pages once the site is live to reflect the changes. The website address will remain the same but you may also need to update some url links on your website or in your printed materials.

The department will continue to update the website in response to feedback and ongoing user testing.

New approved provider application forms from 1 July 2019

New application forms and guidelines for organisations seeking approval to provide residential, home and/or flexible care will be updated and available from 1 July 2019.

The new form will contain questions specific to the Aged Care Quality Standards which take effect from 1 July 2019.

If your organisation is applying for approval to provide residential care, home care or flexible care, you must use the relevant new application form. There are different forms for:

  1. new applicants
  2. existing approved providers
  3. government organisations.

All three forms allow organisations to be approved for one or more types of care:

  • residential care
  • home care
  • flexible care (in the form of short-term restorative care).

Applicants:

  • should read the guidance information in conjunction with the application forms
  • must use the approved form that is current at the time of applying.

The forms will be available shortly on the department's website.

Charter of Aged Care Rights online resources available

Resources to support the sector’s understanding of the new Charter of Aged Care Rights (the Charter) are available on the department’s website. Some hard copies of the resources will also be available shortly, you can order limited numbers of these by emailing our distributor directly at Health@nationalmailing.com.au.

Resources include:

  • a Charter of Aged Care Rights booklet designed for consumers to inform them of their aged care consumer rights. It will be useful for:
    • senior Australians, their family and carers
    • aged care providers and staff
    • advocates.
  • a Charter of Aged Care Rights poster designed to display in your organisation and promote awareness of the Charter.

The booklet is being translated into 18 languages and will also be available on the department’s website for downloading and printing.

Find more information about the Charter on the department’s website

Recent Aged Care Quality Reform Webinars now available

The department has recently undertaken two webinars providing the sector with advice on aged care quality reforms:

Aged Care Quality Reform Webinar

This webinar, delivered jointly with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, addressed key aged care quality reforms being implemented from 1 July 2019 including:

  • Aged Care Quality Standards
  • Clinical Governance Framework
  • Open Disclosure Framework
  • Single Charter of Aged Care Rights
  • Strengthened regulations to minimise the inappropriate use of restraint
  • National Quality Indicator Program.

National Aged Care Quality Indicator Program Webinar

The National Quality Indicator Program webinar provided a technical overview of the National Quality Indicator Program including:

  • Clinical quality indicator definitions
  • Collecting and submitting quality indicator data
  • Compliance requirements.

Both webinars are now available on the department’s website.

Streamlined Consumer Assessment for Aged Care – discussion paper report now available

The Streamlined Consumer Assessment for Aged Care Discussion Paper Report is now available. The Report outlines key issues and feedback received from the consultation.

The Discussion Paper was available for public consultation from December 2018 to February 2019 and received 223 submissions from the aged care sector and other interested parties on the design of the new assessment model.

A copy of the Discussion Paper and Report are available on the department’s website.

Reminder: 1 July 2019 mandatory home care pricing requirements

Before 1 July 2019, all home care providers must publish their pricing information in the new standardised schedule, including a full price list, on My Aged Care.

Providers need to ensure they adhere to this and other related pricing changes outlined in the legislation which was announced on 30 August 2018.

The department recently sent a letter with further resources to support home care providers' readiness and transition activities.

The department will be monitoring home care providers’ compliance with these new requirements.

Further information and all support materials are available on the department's website.

Returning unspent Home Care Package funds

A reminder that if a client ceases care with your organisation under a Home Care Package, their unspent home care amount (less any exit fees) needs to be either:

  • Transferred to the client’s new home care provider if the client is changing providers; or
  • Returned to the Commonwealth and the client (or their estate) if the client leaves home care (for example if they have entered permanent residential aged care or passed away).

If a provider does not comply with these requirements, the department may take appropriate compliance action as outlined in the legislation.

Unspent home care amounts are not required to be calculated if the client is transferring between home care services of the same approved provider.

Further information is available on the department’s website.

Macular Disease Foundation Australia Digital training tools

The Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA) have developed easy-to-use digital training tools to be used in all Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) to help staff understand the visual needs of residents and better care for those with vision loss and blindness.

The free resources include:

MDFA encourages all RACFs to use these resources and incorporate them into staff training programs.

The MDFA will conduct a follow-up online survey after July this year asking for feedback on these resources.

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