The government has confirmed it will share “key parameters behind the modelling” of the $1.2 billion cuts to aged care funding announced in the 2016 Budget with stakeholders.
The aged care sector has been unanimous and constant in its calls to see the economic modelling behind the government’s May Budget decisions, after provider and independent analysis showed the impact of the cuts was much more than government indicated.
The sector was joined by Senator Nick Xenophon, who called for a Senate inquiry into the cuts, and Labor, which lodged a freedom of information request to obtain the modelling.
The Department of Health confirmed to Australian Ageing Agenda that Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ken Wyatt told the National Aged Care Alliance meeting last week that the Department of Health would “release key parameters behind the modelling.”
“The department will be giving effect to this through engagement with key stakeholders in coming weeks, including through the Aged Care Sector Committee, which has representatives from peak industry bodies,” a departmental spokesperson told Australian Ageing Agenda.
Increased industry consultation
Elsewhere at the NACA meeting, Mr Wyatt announced a three-stage consultation process with industry commencing next week.
It’s understood that process would include meetings with peak bodies; new sector committee working groups to discuss and develop alternatives to the ACFI cuts; and ongoing consultation through the sector committee on the development of an independent assessment process.
While government reportedly told NACA it was open to alternative ways of adjusting ACFI, it said it still had to achieve the same $1.2 billion savings over four years.
Elsewhere, it’s understood Mr Wyatt indicated he saw the Aged Care Roadmap as a solid foundation to work towards a demand-driven industry.
Stakeholders in attendance at the meeting said he suggested to NACA that elements of the roadmap were pragmatic and he wanted to consider how they fit into existing arrangements.
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