Older Australians to have increased choice with funds following the consumer from today

Older Australians who access home care services will – for the first time – be able to exercise greater choice and control from today with the commencement of Increasing Choice in Home Care, launched this morning by Minister Ken Wyatt.

From today, home care funding will follow the consumer rather than be allocated to the home care provider, so that individual consumers can choose their preferred service provider and more easily change service provider.

Catholic Health Australia (CHA), peak body for the Catholic hospital and aged care network, representing approximately 10 per cent of all hospital and aged care service provision, has been supportive of these reforms, having worked closely with government and other aged care stakeholders towards implementing the changes.

CHA’s CEO, Suzanne Greenwood, said today’s launch marks a significant step in the right direction for aged care in Australia, with older Australians now afforded the opportunity to better influence the nature and quality of home care services. 

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Private health insurers must not diminish access to mental health services with exclusive policies

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) is adamant that excluding mental health cover from silver and bronze level1 private health insurance products would result in fewer options for some of the most vulnerable people in society.
 
A proposal to exclude mental health cover from anything but the most expensive insurance products was tabled at the third meeting of the Private Health Ministerial Advisory Committee, comprised of healthcare and private health insurance stakeholders.
 
The impact of mental illness in Australia is significant, costing $8.5 billion in 2014/15 and comprising approximately 13 per cent of Australia’s total burden of disease.
 
“An estimated 45 per cent of Australians will experience some form of mental disorder in their lifetime,” said Catholic Health Australia’s CEO, Suzanne Greenwood.
 

Key aged care policy to increase consumer choice and control falters

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has urged the Turnbull Government to take action in its 2017-18 Budget to improve older Australians access to home care packages that match their assessed needs – to be achieved by stepping up the release of new home care places and assigning packages to individuals as prioritised by MyAgedCare.
 
CHA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Suzanne Greenwood, is disappointed that the Government’s policy to increase the overall target provision ratio to 125 operational aged care places per 1,000 people aged 70 and over by 2021-22 and increasing the target ratio for home care packages to 45, announced in the 2012-13 Budget, has seen little progression in six years.
 
“Since 30 June 2011, the operational provision ratio for home care packages has increased by only 4.9 to 31.9 – well below the rate required to reach the target ratio of 45 by 2021-22,” said Mrs Greenwood. “And in addition to the slow growth towards the home care package target, the overall operational provision ratio covering both residential aged care beds and home care packages has increased by only 0.4 (from 112.8 at 30 June 2011 to 113.2 at 30 June 2016).”
 

Catholic Health Australia congratulates new Ministers for Health and Indigenous Health and Aged Care

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) congratulates Hon Greg Hunt MP and Hon Ken Wyatt MP, today appointed Minister for Health and Sport and Minister for Indigenous Health and Aged Care respectively. 
 
CHA looks forward to working with Minister Hunt and continuing to work with Minister Wyatt and the Turnbull Government to ensure that all Australians have equitable access to timely, affordable and quality health and aged care services, regardless of socio-economic status or geographic location. 
 
 

AMA on point joining call for greater investment in quality end of life care

Catholic Health Australia’s (CHA) CEO, Suzanne Greenwood, has welcomed the Australian Medical Association’s call for greater investment in quality end of life care services and a campaign to increase community awareness to better support healthy end of life choices. 

“Representing Australia’s medical doctors, the AMA is an important authoritative and ethical voice in the assisted suicide debate,” said Mrs Greenwood. “Doctors are confronting the realities of caring for the terminally ill every day, and policy-makers should be taking note.”

Representing the single largest non-government provider grouping of hospital, community and aged care services in the country, CHA shares the AMA’s objective to achieve greater investment in quality end of life care to ensure every Australian has equitable access to affordable high-quality palliative care services. 

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New National Partnership Progresses Health Equity in Cape York

Apunipima Cape York Health Council have signed a Strategic Partnership Statement and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Catholic Health Australia (CHA), signifying the two organisations’ commitment in partnership to closing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health gap in Cape York.

The partnership between Apunipima and Catholic Health Australia will see Catholic hospital and aged care groups work in collaboration with CHA and Apunipima to assist Apunipima to deliver additional health care services to the people of Cape York. CHA is also committed to supporting Apunipima’s advocacy efforts to deliver health equity for the people of Cape York. Additionally, the organisation has agreed to participate in knowledge-sharing activities, including workshops and community visits.

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Catholic Health Australia and Australian Catholic University partner to further education and healing

Australian Catholic University (ACU) and Catholic Health Australia (CHA) signed a Statement of Strategic Intent on Monday 29 August in Sydney to promote two of the Church’s widest reaching ministries, committed to progressing education in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and care that advocates the healing ministry of Christ.

The signing was held ahead of a graduation ceremony for 24 senior industry leaders of ACU’s Graduate Leadership and Catholic Culture and in conjunction with CHA’s Annual National Conference in Sydney.

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New Australian Leadership Formation Program: a new era for Catholic leadership

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) and Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) are pleased to announce a new partnership to initiate the Australian Ministry Leadership Program, drawing on the support and experience of the Ministry Leadership Centre, USA.

The Australian Ministry Leadership Program is the first collaboration of its kind between these two leading agencies of the Catholic Church in Australia. This initiative represents what is anticipated will be a significant and shared future in supporting Catholic health, aged care and social services to thrive as ministries of the Church.

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Independent report confirms essential aged care funding to be cut by 11%

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Catholic Health Australia (CHA) in partnership with UnitingCare and Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) has today released an independent review that supports fears that the Turnbull Government’s changes to the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI), which target older people with the most complex health care needs, will result in funding reductions that will significantly exceed Government estimates.

The review, conducted by Ansell Strategic, was undertaken to assess the impact of the proposed changes to the ACFI on funding and the care of residents. It involved 501 aged care homes and almost 39,000 residents across Australia.

“It has been our concern from the beginning that the ACFI changes designed to pull back on the rate of growth of funding per resident per annum on account of the increasing frailty of residents will cut deeper than intended, and will compromise the ability for the sector to provide for residents in need of the most complex care,” said Catholic Health Australia’s CEO, Suzanne Greenwood.

“The Report confirms that changes to the ACFI would decrease funding per resident by an average of $6,655 and reduce funding for aged care homes by 11% on average,” said Mrs Greenwood. 

 

 
Please follow this link to read the media release.

Labor’s Commitment to Reverse Cuts to the MBS Pathology Bulk Billing Incentives Welcomed

19 June 2016

Labor’s commitment to reverse cuts to the MBS pathology bulk billing incentives welcomed

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) welcomes today’s announcement that a Shorten Labor government would not proceed with the removal of the bulk billing incentive items for pathology tests.

CHA CEO, Suzanne Greenwood said today that “this proposal will remove some of the current financial pressure facing the sector and will help to ensure current levels of bulk billing are maintained.”

“Too many vulnerable and disadvantaged patients are already not accessing necessary health services due to high out of pocket costs for GP and specialist visits. We should not be adding to this burden,” Mrs Greenwood added.

“We welcome this measure as a recognition of the challenges facing pathology, and in particular the not-for-profit and independent providers.”

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CHA calls for transparency surrounding aged care cuts

17 June 2016
 
CHA calls for transparency surrounding aged care cuts
 
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) fears that financial modelling informing the Turnbull Government’s Budget changes to the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) which target aged care residents with the most complex health care needs significantly underestimates the true impact on aged care services and the care of residents.
 
Assessments by service providers of the changes are all indicating that they will reduce annual care funding in aged care homes by up to 12%, depending on the care needs of the residents in each home. 
 
“If implemented, cuts of this magnitude will compromise the care of residents that require the most complex nursing care,” warned Catholic Health Australia’s CEO, Suzanne Greenwood.  
 
“These residents currently benefit from non-pharmaceutical pain management by allied health professionals.” 
 
“It would also mean that providers would no longer be able to accept people from hospitals with high complex care needs.”
 
“Such significant cuts to aged care funding would also have a negative impact on the viability of aged care services and add to the volatility and unpredictability in care funding seen under ACFI in recent years. If not addressed, this threatens investment in the quality new services that will be required to care for Australia’s ageing population.”
 
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