Aged care providers are set to start receiving the $10 boost to the daily subsidy for residents in early August, a government forum on aged care reforms has heard.
The Department of Health held a webinar on aged care reforms on Tuesday to provide more detail on residential aged care measures announced in the 2021-22 Budget in response to the aged care royal commission recommendations.
Among those changes is the $10 Basic Daily Fee Supplement from July 2021 to help providers pay for daily living services in exchange for committing to report quarterly on expenditure related to these services and particularly food.
Department of Health First Assistant Secretary Nick Hartland said the $10 per resident per day supplement “will be made payable in early August”.
“This is really important part of the response to the royal commission in order to improve the quality of food, oral health and allied health supports to residential aged care,” Mr Hartland told the forum.
It comes with new reporting requirements with the first report due in October, he said.
“We will be consulting with providers to refine these reporting requirements and will come out to you in good time about that,” Mr Hartland said.
Care minutes reporting
Incoming care minute requirements was the other big reform Mr Hartland talked about. From October 2023 providers will need to provide 200 minutes of care to residents each day including 40 minutes with a registered nurse.
Mr Hartland clarified that the 200 care minutes was meant to be an average of care time provided.
“The 200 minutes in the royal commission’s recommendation is actually an average for all residents per day. It’s not the minimum requirement so that means that some residents will get more than 200 minutes and logically then some will get less. It will be based on their needs,” he said.
Aged care providers also have to begin to report staff care minutes in October as part of their existing annual reporting.
“From July 2022, reporting on care staff in minutes will move to a quarterly basis and providers will also be required to provide a monthly care statement to residents outlining the care they’ve received and significant changes for events during the month from December 2022,” Mr Hartland said.
Transitioning to AN-ACC
The move to the new residential aged care funding model, which the Australian Government committed $189 million to in the recent budget to implement from October 2022, was also discussed at the forum.
The Australian National Aged Care Classification, which was developed by the University of Wollongong’s Australian Health Services Research Institute as part of the Resource Utilisation and Classification Study in 2019, is being used in shadow assessments for 12 months until next April.
Department of Health Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan said transitioning to the AN-ACC funding model would be a challenge for the sector.
Ms McMillan said the health department would hold workshops to support the transition.
“It is very important that we do understand the need to consult, to engage, to hear and to reaffirm some of those changes as we move forward,” Ms McMillan told the forum.
Ms McMillan said there would be two discussion documents to help inform and support providers through the transition.
Engaging in design, implementation of reforms
Elsewhere at the forum, Department of Health deputy secretary Michael Lye encouraged aged care stakeholders to register their interest in assisting with the design and implementation of reforms over the next two years.
“We need your help in shaping and delivering an aged care system for the future for all senior Australians,” Mr Lye said.
Find out more.
The Residential aged care forum took place on 22 June. It is among seven webinars on aged care reform hosted by the health department.