Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt has this morning released the highly-anticipated report into alternatives to the troubled Aged Care Funding Instrument.
The report, detailing five options for how government funds residential care, was handed to the Department of Health at the beginning of February.
Last month Australian Ageing Agenda reported that Minister Wyatt was planning to undertake further consultation with the sector about the alternatives in the report, ahead of making a decision on a future funding model (read story here).
Releasing the report Alternative Aged Care Assessment, Classification System and Funding Models, Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said it was important to review the way government funds aged care to ensure a sustainable and flexible system.
The government contributes $17.5 billion a year to aged care which would increase to just under $21 billion by 2019-20, he said.
The report prepared by the Australian Health Services Research Institute at the University of Wollongong was commissioned by the Department of Health to evaluate current funding arrangements and look into alternative funding options.
It came after the latest blow-out in ACFI’s budgets which saw a series of controversial funding cuts.
Minister Wyatt said the report provided government with a range of options to consider for residential aged care funding.
These options include a system of funding levels, similar to the approach in home care packages, as well as activity-based funding as operates in the hospital system. They also include retaining an improved version of ACFI which would require ongoing monitoring.
A separate review looking at improving ACFI is also being undertaken by Applied Aged Care Solutions.
That review will focus on options to improve the current tool to make it less subjective including the feasibility of external assessment, Minister Wyatt said.
“These two separate but important pieces of work will help inform the government’s deliberations over the future direction for funding reform.”
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