Aged Care

Summary of Aged Care Royal Commission Hearing – Workforce – 21 February 2020

At this Hearing, the Commissioners:

  • heard evidence from two international expert witnesses; and
  • received proposed recommendations from Counsel for inclusion in the Final Report concerning reforming the aged care workforce, primarily focussed on residential aged care.

Counsel noted that the home care workforce raises a number of unique challenges that will be addressed separately at a later stage. 

Counsel believed that the evidence gathered over the workforce hearings highlighted that the aged care workforce is at risk of collapse. It was noted that these problems have been identified before and have only become further embedded as a consequence of inaction and growing care needs.

CHA Submission in Response to Royal Commission Consultation Paper on Aged Care Program Redesign

This submission responds to the Royal Commission’s invitation to provide comment on  its Consultation Paper, Aged Care Program Redesign: Services for the Future, which canvasses a fundamental redesign of the current aged care funding arrangements. 

The proposed redesign is based on the creation of three separate funding streams for aged care services that are agnostic of setting: domestic assistance, social supports and minor home modification and assistive technology (an entry-level support stream); personal care, nursing care and allied health services (care stream); and reablement and respite services and more expensive home modifications and assistive technology (investment stream).

These separate funding streams would span all aged care and thereby be available for all eligible older people irrespective of their accommodation arrangements, whether home-based or any form of congregate living setting.  In contrast, the current funding arrangements are based on the separation of residential care and home-based care, with the latter further separated into the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and the home care package program.

The Consultation Paper also addresses how information requirements of older people and needs assessment, including assistance with system navigation, would be best catered for under the proposed program redesign.

CHA’s submission can be accessed here.

Pre-Budget Submission – 2020-21

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has provided a submission to the Treasurer, in response to the invitation to identify priorities for the 2020-21 Budget, which identifies aged care priorities. CHA has identified the need to address the mounting financial pressures being experienced by residential aged care providers and the home care package waiting list as aged care priorities for the 2020-21 Budget.

CHA’s submission can be accessed here.

Consultation Paper – Additional Service Fees in Residential Aged Care

Catholic Health Australia has provided a submission in response to the Department of Health’s consultation paper concerning the regulation of fees for additional services in residential aged care. The proposed changes to the current regulations concern price disclosure provisions; restrictions on low means residents agreeing to fees for additional services; time limits on additional service fee agreements; and review provisions concerning ‘capacity to benefit’ from additional services.

Catholic Health Australia’s submission can be accessed here.

CHA Submission to ACFA Consultation Paper – HCP payments in arrears

On the 2 October 2019, the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, asked the Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) to examine the potential financial impact on home care providers of the Australian Government’s 2019-20 Budget measure to improve the way home care providers are paid Government subsidy and provide advice to him by 13 December 2019.

ACFA sought submissions to its consultation paper – Improving home care payment arrangements which can be accessed here.

CHA worked with member representatives to develop a response to the range of issues. The CHA Submission to the ACFA Consultation paper – HCP payment in arrears can be found here.

Catholic Health Australia’s (CHA) response to the Consultation Paper – Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) for Commonwealth funded residential aged care

The Department of Health has issued a consultation paper on the design of a Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) to replace the current reportable assaults regime that applies in residential aged care. The SIRS as proposed would broaden the range of incidents that are reportable, including serious resident on resident incidents, and extend the simple reporting of an incident to include providers’ responses to incidents. The SIRS is intended to operate in conjunction with the open disclosure processes in the new Quality Standards and the implementation of a risk-based quality regulatory framework. In general terms, CHA supports the proposed design of the SIRS, but with some modifications, and highlights the need for detailed guidance to support providers with the implementation of SIRS.

CHA’s submission can be found here.

Proposed Alternative Models for Allocating Residential Places Response to Consultation Paper

In the 2018-19 Budget, the Government agreed in principle to assigning residential places to consumers rather than to providers, subject to an impact analysis. As part of the impact analysis, a discussion paper was released requesting feedback from the aged care sector.

Catholic Health Australia’s submission in response to the discussion paper provides conditional support for assigning places to consumers because of its potential to encourage service innovation and to reward providers delivering quality services that are responsive to consumer preferences. However, in order to achieve the full potential for service improvement while at the same time manage the transitional business and financial risks, CHA considers that assigning places to consumers must be accompanied by complementary reforms to the current system.

Please follow this link to CHA’s response to the discussion paper.

Staffing Input Reporting by Aged Care Homes - Queensland Health

Catholic Health Australia has provided a submission to Queensland Health concerning public reporting of staffing input information under the Health Transparency Bill 2019 by aged care homes in Queensland.  While supporting the intention of the Bill in relation to greater public disclosure of service quality, Catholic Health Australia argues in the submission that the proposed publication of staffing input data focussed on personal care and nursing is of limited use to consumers and likely misleading, and that the more appropriate process for further improving public disclosure and service quality in relation to aged care services in Australia is to engage with the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and, as appropriate, COAG processes.

Please follow this link to read the submission.

CHA Response to Proposed New Funding Model for Personal and Nursing Care in Residential Aged Care

The Department of Health issued a consultation paper proposing a new funding model for personal and nursing care in residential aged care to replace the current ACFI model. CHA considers that the proposed AN-ACC classification and funding model is a superior model to the current ACFI, but elements of the new model would benefit from further analysis, testing and fine tuning before  implementation.

Please follow this link to read the submission.

Strengthening Regulations for Managing Prudential Risk in Residential Aged Care

The Department of Health issued a discussion paper canvassing options for strengthening regulations for managing prudential risk in residential aged care, in particular with regard to Refundable Accommodation Deposits held by aged care providers. Catholic Health Australia supported the strengthening of the current regulations. In assessing the options for their strengthening, Catholic Health Australia had regard to their administrative simplicity, efficiency and propensity to encourage ‘right behaviour’.

Please follow this link to read the submission.

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