Information for the Aged Care Sector
27 May 2021

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Information for the Aged Care Sector

Issue 2021/9

This newsletter provides important information on matters affecting the aged care sector, including aged care initiatives, programs and processes. We encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce, particularly your communications teams, and encourage them to subscribe for future updates.

In addition to the newsletter, we also send announcements which provide short snippets of targeted information and are sent as required. To help ensure you haven't missed any important information from us, we've added links to recent announcements including all COVID-19 updates.

In this issue:

Residential Care:

Announcements since the last newsletter:

The department has also distributed these 'Protecting Older Australians' and 'COVID-19 vaccine' updates:

Free Capital Project Management support available to Rural, Remote and First Nations aged care services

The Service Development Assistance Panel (SDAP) provides free professional support to aged care providers located in rural and remote areas or who provide care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Qualified and experienced professionals work with eligible providers to support compliance with relevant laws including the Building Code of Australia. It can include help to:

  • project manage building works within your service
  • engage with communities and stakeholders
  • review and assess buildings and infrastructure
  • develop and review building concept plans.
Aged care service providers can apply if they:
  • are located in a rural or remote location (defined by Modified Monash Model 5‑7)
  • provide services to a significant number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples anywhere in Australia
and offer aged care services under the following programs:
  • residential aged care under the Aged Care Act 1997
  • Home Care Packages Program
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program
  • Commonwealth Home Support Programme (in some cases).
Further information is available:

10 questions to ask about residential aged care

10 questions to ask is a series of brochures and posters empowering consumers to ask questions about aged care, to assist with selecting a provider that is right for them, and to make the transition to aged care easier.

Written by nurses, doctors and experts with experience in aged care, the brochures address common questions about aspects of aged care such as costs, staffing, palliative care and health services. They are endorsed by a number of advocacy organisations, supporting people with a variety of backgrounds, lived experiences and needs, and include:

Consumers may find these brochures useful when searching for an aged care home, reviewing a home or deciding between two similar homes. It is important for aged care staff to be familiar with the questions in this brochure, as they may need to answer these questions in the future.

Seeking out tools and information to support respectful and inclusive care, is a recommended action in Outcome 4 of the Action plan to support all diverse people – a guide for aged care providers.

Effective use of these brochures may also help you demonstrate Standard 2 of the Aged Care Quality Standardsconsumers partner in their ongoing assessment and planning to help them get the care they need.’ They could be made available to a person during your initial and ongoing assessment processes. Providers are also encouraged to consider making the brochures and posters visible and accessible to new and potential clients.

AN-ACC Assessments in residential aged care

Since April 2021 Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) Assessments have been happening around Australia. These assessment are being conducted beside the current Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) funding arrangements and currently do not affect accommodation, care, claiming or funding arrangements.

This period of assessments, known as the shadow assessment period, will continue until 30 September 2022.

AN-ACC Assessors undertaking these assessments are experienced aged care clinicians (Registered Nurses, Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapists) who have undergone extensive training in the AN-ACC tool and assessment process.

AN-ACC Assessors are employed by one of six Assessment Management Organisations (AMOs) contracted by the department.

A representative from one of the AMOs will contact providers directly to organise assessments during the shadow assessment period. AMOs will provide details on what is provided to ensure assessments can be undertaken.

Assessment and classifications completed during the shadow assessment period will be used to determine the subsidies residential aged care homes receive from the Australian Government when AN-ACC begins on 1 October 2022.

AMOs and AN-ACC Assessors must comply with all current Federal, State and Territory and/or residential aged care home protocols related to COVID-19.

More information is available on the department’s website.

Quality indicator in focus: Medication management

From 1 July 2021, new and updated quality indicators will be included in the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program).

Medication management will be included in the QI Program as a new quality indicator, comprising two categories:

  • percentage of care recipients who were prescribed nine or more medications
  • percentage of care recipients who received antipsychotic medications.

This quality indicator is collected through a review of care records every quarter, for each care recipient. The first quarter of data collection starts 1 July 2021 and is reported in the 1‑21 October 2021 reporting period.

Approved providers must collect and report on medication management data quarterly, according to the requirements set out in the QI Program Manual 2.0 Part A available on the department’s website.

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