Major Aged Care Reforms: What to expect
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The ACE Wrap 7 June

11/06/24
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Aged care news highlights from the fortnight ending 7 June 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

EN to be included with RN care minutes

According to Aged Care Insite, the Federal Government made a surprise announcement on Tuesday that there will be adjustments to the care minutes target to include enrolled nurses (EN). From October 1, care minutes will increase from the current 200 minutes of direct care per resident per day to 215 minutes. A registered nurse's (RN) care time will also increase from 40 to 44 minutes. However, the Department of Health and Aged Care has altered the requirement, saying providers can also meet the 10 per cent of the RN targets – 4 minutes and 24 seconds – with care time delivered by an EN.

 

Recommendations to support the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, the 32 recommendations of the final report of the Independent Capability Review of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission have been accepted by government. The review, led by Mr David Tune AO PSM, suggested a number of ways to improve the Commission’s capability. These include:

  • a new organisational structure
  • increased data capability and ICT infrastructure
  • improved complaint resolution processes
  • enhanced role and independence of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Advisory Council.

Visit Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission capability review for more information.

 

Govt accepts Tune’s commission review

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, every recommendation contained in the final report of the capability review of the aged care regulatory body has been accepted by the federal government.

 

Draft new Aged Care Act consultation – feedback report released

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, feedback and submissions from our recent draft new Aged Care Act consultation are now available. Your feedback is informing the final Bill, which will be introduced to Parliament. Subject to parliamentary processes, the new Act will commence on 1 July 2025 to align with the launch of the new Support at Home program. The consultation feedback report and submissions are now available. 

 

38 issues highlighted on Exposure Draft of the new Aged Care Act

According to The Weekly Source, the Department of Health and Aged Care has released an 89-page Consultation Feedback Report on the Exposure Draft of the new Aged Care Act, revealing "largely positive" responses from stakeholders but some concerns, such as gaps in the Exposure Draft around fees, payments and subsidies and the potential for proposed statutory duties to deter people from working in aged care.

 

Award wage aged care workers receive 3.75% pay rise

According to The Weekly Source, the Fair Work Commission has announced its Annual Wage Review decision, with a 3.75% increase for the National Minimum Wage and the 121 Awards across the economy, including the Social Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award 2010 (SCHADS), the Aged Care Award 2010, and the Nurses Award 2020.

 

NSW offers nurses pay rise, short of unions demands

According to Aged Care Insite, the NSW government has offered public sector workers, including nurses, a three-year pay rise worth 10.5 per cent, which is well under the demands of some of the unions. The Minns government announced the offer last Monday, and it applies to workers whose industrial agreements are due for renewals, including nurses.

 

Providers warned as Covid-19 outbreaks rise

According to Aged Care Insite, providers have been warned to stay alert as a new Covid-19 variant sweeps the nation, following a rise in cases and deaths in aged care homes. The Department of Health and Aged Care and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) released a statement on Friday, stating it was "imperative" that aged care services remained alert as Covid and influenza cases rise.

 

$135m for rural, remote and First Nations aged care

According to Aged Care Insite, the Minister for Aged Care announced new investments to improve access to aged care services for First Nations, rural, and remote communities. An investment of $135m for the Aged Care Capital Assistance Program (ACCAP) grants will be used to directly support aged care providers located outside major cities, in a move "to build and modernise services so Older Australians can access the aged care they need".

 

Changes to publication of room pricing on My Aged Care

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, on 1 July 2024 the way you enter room pricing information on My Aged Care Service and Support portal will change. These changes will improve room pricing information published on My Aged Care. To advertise rooms priced over the maximum accommodation payment amount you will need to upload your refundable accommodation deposit (RAD) approval letters to the portal. Visit Changes to publication of room pricing on My Aged Care to learn more.

 

New model pack for care time reporting assessments

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, the model pack shows you how to correctly present information that will be requested during a care time reporting assessment. Accurate reporting improves the quality of aged care data and helps ensure providers receive the correct amount of funding. Visit the care time reporting assessments webpage to learn more and download the model pack. For more information email: ANACCReportingAssessments@health.gov.au.

 

Provider preview of finance and operations information

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, in February 2024, we published provider finance and operations information for the first time on the My Aged Care 'Find a Provider' tool. We will be updating this information shortly based on what providers reported in the last Quarterly Financial Report. Providers can preview the information through the Government Provider Management System (GPMS) until 7 June.  

 

Tell us what you think about Star Ratings

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, we are evaluating Star Ratings to see what’s working and where we can make improvements to benefit the sector and older people.

Visit the Aged Care Engagement Hub to participate. Feedback closes 19 June 2024. 

 

Aged Care Pulse survey begins today

According to Aged Care Insite, the Department of Health and Aged Care's Pulse Survey will open on Monday and run until June 14 after hearing concerns that aged care workers aren't aware of industry changes and reforms. The twice-yearly survey is open to all aged care workers and providers, along with other providers and stakeholders that deliver technology or health-related services to aged care.

 

Safety blitz: SA aged care to be audited

According to Aged Care Insite, residential aged care homes across South Australia will be audited by the safety regulator this month in a bid to reduce the risk of injury to residents and staff. SafeWork SA inspectors will start compliance checks on how staff use equipment and other techniques to move residents with limited mobility from one location to another, such as transferring residents from a bed to a chair or bath, from a wheelchair to a toilet, or repositioning them in their bed.

 

Home Care News

Financial declarations for CHSP providers due soon

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, reminder to Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers that your 2023-24 financial declaration statement is due by 31 August 2024. We will only give extensions in exceptional circumstances. Your financial declaration statement must:

  • use the correct form
  • be true and accurate
  • only include acquittal of 2023-24 CHSP funds and any unspent funds approved from the previous financial year.

For more information, contact your Funding Arrangement Manager in the Community Grants Hub.

 

Consultation: Quality indicators for in-home aged care

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, we are expanding the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program into in-home aged care. Public consultation is now open. To have your say:

Quality indicators measure and monitor critical areas of care for older people. We are consulting to develop realistic and practical quality indicators for in-home aged care. The new quality indicators will not start before 1 July 2026. They will only apply to providers under the new Support at Home program. Read more about quality indicators for in-home aged care

 

Providers sceptical of home care reform

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, providers are increasingly questioning whether a new model of home care will ever be implemented, according to a report from Enkindle Consulting. That’s one of many findings gleaned from a survey conducted by the aged care consultancy firm earlier this year.

 

Complaints report from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has released the latest 'Complaints about aged care home services – Insights for people receiving care report'. The report provides an overview of:

  • in-home services  
  • the Commission’s role  
  • the rights of people receiving aged care and what they can expect. 

The report also explains how people can get help, raise concerns and how complaints are resolved.  It covers what to expect from both your aged care provider and the Commission.  Access the report Complaints about aged care home services – Insights for people receiving care.

 

Comms, charges top home care complaints

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, consultation and finances head the list of complaints received by the aged care regulatory body from in-home care clients, says a new report.

 

Legislation

Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2023 [ACT] – passed Assembly 5 June 2024

The Bill changes the law to ensure that, in defined circumstances and with strong safeguards, it is lawful for an authorised practitioner to assist an eligible individual to access an approved substance as an additional end of life choice. The Bill’s objects are to:

  • give individuals who are suffering and dying the option of requesting the assistance of health practitioners to end their lives; and
  • establish a process for individuals to exercise the option to request assistance to end their lives if they have been assessed as meeting the requirements under the Bill;
  • establish mechanisms to ensure that VAD is accessed only by individuals who want to exercise the option to request assistance to end their lives; and have been assessed as meeting the requirements under the Bill to access VAD; and
  • protect individuals from coercion and exploitation; and
  • provide protection for health practitioners who choose to assist, or not assist, individuals to exercise the option of ending their lives in accordance with this Bill; and
  • provide for the monitoring and enforcement of compliance with this Bill.

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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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