ACFI arrives

After a delay and rumours of further delays the implementation date for the ACFI has arrived. Now its time to watch and observe how things will pan out.

After a delay last year and rumours of further delays earlier this year, the implementation date for the new Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) has finally arrived.

Replacing the Resident Classification Scale (RCS), the intended purpose of the ACFI is to streamline the ongoing assessment of residents.

But results from various ACFI trials and modeling have been mixed and the next few months will prove critical.

The two national industry bodies have told Australian Ageing Agenda this morning that they will continue to consult with the Government as they follow the roll out of the new tool.

“Obviously we will monitor to see that we achieve the underlying objectives of the tool which are the simplification of documentation and an improved validation process and we will also seek ensure that there is no significant negative impact on the financial outcomes for providers,” said Aged Care Association Australia CEO, Rod Young.

“That’s where most of the anxiety rests at the moment because there have been huge variables in the findings of the ACFI assessments to date.”

Aged and Community Services Australia CEO, Greg Mundy agreed, saying the fact that the industry was already in an insecure financial position was increasing anxiety levels.

“The main thing we will be monitoring is the financial impact of the ACFI on individual services and we will be drilling down to look at the reasons why,” he said.

“If it has an adverse impact, it might be for a number of reasons; people might not be sufficiently skilled in using the tool or the ACFI might be wrong in places.”

“The ACFI is a very anxious time for everyone in aged care and it will require that everyone, including individual providers, the associations and government, will be on their toes.”

For its part, the Government has assured providers in recent weeks that the ACFI Reference Group will continue to consult with providers and consumers on all aspects of the implementation of the new funding model.

The Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot has also promised there will be an ACFI review in 18 months time.

For more information, refer to the ACFI User Guide or call the ACFI information hotline on 1800 500 853.

Today also marks the introduction of the new accommodation supplement arrangements introduced in the 2007 budget.

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