Major Aged Care Reforms: What to expect
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Weekly Wrap 7 November

7/11/23
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Aged care news highlights from the week ending 10 November 2023, aggregated by Ideagen CompliSpace.

The information in the Weekly 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 CompliSpace .

 

COVID-19 News 

New COVID-19 supplement support

According to the Department of Heath and Aged Care, from 1 January 2024, a new Aged Care Outbreak Management Supplement will provide support for another 12 months, replacing the current COVID-19 grants. The supplement will help all residential aged care providers manage outbreaks. A surge workforce will also continue to assist aged care homes impacted by outbreaks and other emergency events.

The measure was announced on Monday 23 October 2023. Read the Minister's media releaseIt highlights the Government’s ongoing commitment to supporting the sector and safeguarding the wellbeing of residents. A webinar that included information on the new supports took place on Monday. Visit our website to view the webinar recording and slides.

 

 

Other News

Reminder: Provider reporting due

According to the Department of Heath and Aged Care, aged care providers are reminded that critical reporting requirements are due from Tuesday 31 October.

Provider Operations reporting:
Residential and home care providers reporting on additional information about their operations for the first time are to submit via the Provider Operations Collection Form in GPMS by 11.59pm today 31 October. If you require technical assistance, please contact the My Aged Care service provider and assessor helpline on 1800 836 799. For more information visit the Strengthening provider governance in aged care webpage.

Other upcoming reporting requirements:

Please note, all residential aged care providers must submit their 24/7 registered nurse report even if the facility is exempt from the 24/7 RN responsibility.

 

Care time reporting assessments have started

According to the Department of Heath and Aged Care, we have started care time reporting assessments for residential aged care services. Care time reporting assessments check the accuracy of care minutes and 24/7 registered nurse (RN) information reported in the Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) and 24/7 RN report.

Reporting assessments help ensure services are meeting their care minutes and 24/7 RN requirements. They also encourage accurate reporting to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and to inform Star Ratings.

All providers will have a reporting assessment by 1 April 2025. The selection of services for reporting assessments may be targeted or random. Our intention is to provide advice to assist providers in providing accurate reporting. For further information see Care time reporting assessments.

 

ACT reveals new VAD bill, different from other states

According to Aged Care Insite, Australian Capital Territory (ACT) became the latest jurisdiction to introduce voluntary assisted dying (VAD) legislation on Tuesday – with the proposed legislation differing from existing laws across Australia. The introduction of the bill comes almost a year after the federal parliament lifted a 25-year-old ban that prevented Australia's territories from legislating on VAD. VAD laws will be accessible to people over 18 who have an advanced and progressive condition expected to cause death, are intolerably suffering, are acting voluntarily and have decision-making capabilities throughout, and have lived in the ACT or can prove they have a connection to the territory.

 

Aged Care Registered Nurses’ Payments - Round 2

According to the Department of Heath and Aged Care, the second round of applications for the Aged Care Registered Nurses’ Payments is expected to open soon. To prepare, read a copy of the guidelines on GrantConnect.

Aged Care providers are responsible for applying on behalf of eligible Registered Nurses (RN). RNs directly employed through an aged care provider for 6 or 12 months can receive up to $6000. For eligibility periods visit our website. Additional payments are available to nurses who work in a rural or remote area, hold a relevant postgraduate qualification, or have leadership responsibilities.


Changes were made for Round 2:

  • an administrative payment of 5% will no longer be provided to applicants
  • RNs employed through agencies/brokers are no longer eligible
  • part-time workers’ payment will be calculated using a tiering system.

For more information, visit Aged Care Registered Nurses’ Payment.

 

Pay rise breathes fresh life into unappreciated workforce

According to Community Care Review, the 15 per cent pay increase is having a monumental impact across the aged care sector, writes Emily Gillett. The 1 July fully-funded 15 per cent wage increase for nurses, personal care workers, home care staff and others in the aged care sector marked a truly significant milestone in the evolution of aged care in Australia.

 

Industry finances ‘terrifying’, says expert

According to Community Care Review, speaking at a panel event discussing the care economy at the national conference of the Aged and Community Care Providers Association on Thursday, Catherine De Fontenay – commissioner of the Productivity Commission – said: “The financial statistics are, frankly, terrifying.”

 

Sector under ‘enormous amount of pressure’

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, while acknowledging that the aged care sector had “come a long way” in the past 12 months, the quality regulator chief told an industry event last week: “there is much we have not yet done.”

 

Communication poor across sector, say consumers

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, older people receiving aged care are feeling dismissed or ignored and not listened to, according to a new report from the national advocacy peak. Published by the Older Person’s Advocacy Network – and analysing data from OPAN members based on their experiences dealing with almost 40,000 advocacy cases during 2022-23 – the report highlights communication issues as a key complaint among older people receiving home and residential aged care services.

 

 

Home Care News

No significant developments this week.

 

 

Legislation

Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2023 [ACT] – presented to Assembly 31/10/2023

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.

The Bill achieves this by establishing a framework for VAD in the ACT, the key features of which include:

  • clear eligibility requirements to ensure VAD is only available to adults with decision-making capacity who are dying and suffering intolerably, and acting voluntarily;
  • a thorough process for requesting, and being assessed as eligible, to access VAD;
  • clearly defined roles, requirements, protections and training for all health practitioners who wish to be involved in VAD;
  • minimum standards that must be followed by individuals and facility operators that are unwilling or unable to assist with VAD, including conscientious objectors;
  • strict requirements and safeguards for prescription, management, administration and disposal of an approved substance;
  • the establishment of an independent oversight body to monitor and report on the operation of the Bill, record data, and exercise other oversight functions;
  • criminal offences for non-compliance with the Bill; and
  • other matters to support the operation of the scheme.

 

Webinar Recording

 

 

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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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