Major Aged Care Reforms: What to expect
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The ACE Wrap 29 March

2/04/24
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Aged care news highlights from the fortnight ending 29 March 2024, aggregated by Ideagen.

The information in the ACE Wrap is aggregated from other news sources to provide you with news that is relevant to the aged care sector across Australia and worldwide. Each paragraph is a summary of the subject matter covered in the particular news article. The information does not necessarily reflect the views of Ideagen.

 

Residential Care and General Aged Care News

Aged care nurses call for accountability

According to Aged Care Insite, around 60 aged care nurses and carers from across Australia travelled to Canberra to address "ongoing failures" by providers, and to call for accountability. The group stood together to call out aged care providers, saying "they can't be trusted" to uphold the standard of care for older Australians.

 

Why July is critical for the aged care sector

According to Aged Care Guide: will July be a gamechanger in upholding the rights of older Australians or delayed ahead of the next election? The new Aged Care Act is set to be delivered by July 1, 2024 [however], the extended consultation on the exposure draft for the Aged Care Act could make passage of the Act difficult in light of the newly released final report from the Aged Care Taskforce.

 

Aged care workers have won a huge pay rise. What about the cleaners, cooks and admin staff who support them?

According to Aged Care Insite, this month, the Fair Work Commission handed Australia’s aged care workforce an historic pay rise, with some groups’ wages set to increase by more than 28%. The news was a welcome relief for much of the female-dominated workforce, who have faced chronic staffing shortages and poor rates of pay in recent years. But not everyone working in the aged care industry was counted equally. A whole host of workers essential to running aged-care facilities – such as cooks, cleaning staff and administrative assistants – are included in what’s called the indirect care workforce. Many of them will get a raise of just three per cent.

 

Esperance aged care facility says federal funds will be critical to cover sector-wide pay rise

According to ABC News, there are fears regional aged care providers will struggle to fund a pay rise recently awarded to workers by the Fair Work Commission.An aged care facility in Esperance, WA, believes the wage rise will cost it more than $1.3 million a year.

 

New StewartBrown Aged Care Financial Performance Survey shows the need for Taskforce recommendations to be adopted

According to The Weekly Source, residential aged care operators continued to make significant losses in the delivery of everyday living and accommodation services, the StewartBrown Aged Care Financial Performance Survey for the six months to 31 December 2023 shows.

 

Hospital bed crisis is aged care crisis – 375 new beds every month required

According to The Weekly Source, according to a study by Deloitte, the growth in new hospital beds over the next 15 years has stalled at around 95,990 beds. Their report however states that by 2036 the country will require 148,317 beds, a 55% increase.

 

Department pauses publishing of aged care COVID-19 vaccination rates

According to The Weekly Source, the Department of Health and Aged Care has paused reporting of aged care resident vaccination rates in its weekly 'COVID-19 outbreaks in Australian residential aged care homes' report.

 

Check your room pricing information is right on My Aged Care

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, some providers have expired Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) approval dates for rooms over $550,000 in the My Aged Care service and support portal. Please check and update your room information, including your RAD approval or re-approval date.

See how to edit a room in the Service and support portal user guide – Part 1: Administrator functions. For help updating your room information, call the My Aged Care service provider and assessor helpline on 1800 836 799. If your approval has expired, remove this information from My Aged Care and visit the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority to re-apply for a RAD approval. Until approval is granted, you cannot charge or advertise an amount over $550,000.

 

Embrace AI, providers told

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, artificial intelligence will be a great benefit to the aged care sector, according to an industry expert.

 

Effective tech ‘comes down to humanising the individual’

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, the context is crucial to the successful deployment of innovation and technology in the ageing space, says a digital health expert.

 

New fact sheets for providers about volunteering program

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, we have published new fact sheets about the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme. The information is for Home Care Package (HCP) and residential aged care providers. Find and download both fact sheets from Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme resources.

 

This week is National Advance Care Planning week

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, we want to highlight the importance of advance care planning for older people. An advance care plan helps ensure people’s health care preferences are known and respected if they can’t speak for themselves. Read more about advance care planning and make sure early conversations are a standard part of a person’s care.

 

Half of Australians in aged care have depression. Psychological therapy could help

According to The Conversation, while many people maintain positive emotional wellbeing as they age, around half of older Australians living in residential aged care have significant levels of depression. Rates of depression in aged care appear to be increasing, but only a minority of aged care residents with depression receive services specific to the condition. Less than 3% of Australian aged care residents access Medicare-subsidised mental health services, such as consultations with a psychologist or psychiatrist, each year.

 

New study to ‘transform’ falls prevention

According to Aged Care Insite, a new study by James Cook University is trialling a framework that has the potential to reduce the risk of falls in older Australians by 40 per cent if proven successful.

 

Aged Care Reform Guide 2024

 

 

Home Care News

Home Care Packages fact sheet for older people

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, we’ve published a new fact sheet to help older people, their families and carers understand the Home Care Packages (HCP) Program. Please share this resource with your HCP care recipients. Access and download the new understanding Home Care Packages fact sheet.

 

Wait times increasing for ACAT assessments, Home Care packages

According to The Weekly Source, people are waiting 24% longer to receive an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) assessment from the time of referral this financial year, according to the latest data from the Department of Health and Aged Care.

 

Legislation

No significant developments this week.

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About the Author

ACE Editorial Team

ACE is published by Ideagen. CompliSpace is Ideagen’s SaaS-enabled solution that helps organisations in highly-regulated industries to meet their governance, risk, compliance and policy management obligations.

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