Victorian providers say the aged care funding instrument (ACFI) is a huge step forward but more funding is needed to make it work properly,
With the Commonwealth’s ACFI review just around the corner, Aged and Community Care Victoria (ACCV) recently held a symposium to discuss the impact of the tool.
The event was attended by bureacrats and providers who said they were concerned that the instrument had created funding gaps, especially at the “lower end” of the care spectrum.
“For many of the residents with higher needs there is now higher funding,” said the CEO of ACCV, Gerard Mansour.
“But let’s not forget that when the new instrument shifted funding towards the high end, there was no new bucket of cash. It’s not surprising then that we have funding gaps.”
Mr Mansour his association’s members had identified certain resident profiles that were “missing out” under the new tool.
“There are a number of older people with cognitive impairment and memory loss who have an ACAT [aged care assessment team] assessment for low residential care, who are scoring zero dollars under the ACFI.
“There was a sense that addressing these sorts of anomalies needs to be one of the absolute priorities of the review.”
Providers also raised concerns about the way depression was scored under the new tool.
“Everyone agreed that it was really good that the ACFI has put in place specific tools to measure depression but there was an acknowledgement that the tool had some limitations,” Mr Mansour said.
“There are also times where the need for a diagnosis can be problematic for us. It is very important to have that but there are the poor availability of GPs and the frailty of certain residents can make it difficult to obtain a proper diagnosis.”
The issues raised in the symposium will be included in ACCV’s formal submission to the review.