Almost 80 per cent of aged care providers have received information of an incorrect income and asset assessment, according to Leading Age Services Australia.
LASA said its latest member survey showed that four in five providers had received information of an incorrect assessment as at 4 October.
As Australian Ageing Agenda has reported, there have been widespread delays in receiving assessments, as well as incorrect assessments being received, since the changes that came into effect on 1 July.
Under the new financial arrangements, all new residents moving into an aged care facility need to have their income and assets assessed by the Department of Human Services. The assessment is used to determine the costs residents can be asked to pay.
In September the Department of Human Services told AAA it was working urgently to resolve the issue, and had established a team to manually issue determination letters.
In a statement issued yesterday LASA said it had sought meetings with the Minister for Human Services Marise Payne and Secretary of the Department of Human Services Kathryn Campbell to discuss the ongoing issues.
“The new residential aged care means testing process has been established for almost five months now and yet we are still seeing incorrect or erroneous client notification letters which do not provide the correct calculations for age care recipient’s care and accommodation contributions. We are also seeing incorrect information being given via the 1800 phone help line,” LASA said.
Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) said that the number of concerns it was receiving regarding the means testings was falling but it remained a serious concern.
“It creates significant difficulties when the assessment is incorrect or late as providers do not know what fees would apply and the potential care recipient would have no idea how much they would have to pay,” CEO Adjunct Professor John Kelly told AAA.
This had caused significant angst with delays in entry to care and overpayments and underpayments having to be rectified, he said.
“ACSA has been forwarding every single incorrect appraisal we have received to senior people in DHS and DSS and have been regularly liaising with Minister Andrews and Minister Fifield’s office regarding this matter. Minister for Human Services Marise Payne’s office has also been kept informed. She is, in fact, attending the next Aged Care Sector Committee meeting so we can raise our concerns with her directly.
“I also raised this again in a meeting with Carolyn Smith and Rachel Balmanno on 29 October. We have also requested an urgent communique from DHS to update the sector on this matter,” said Adjunct Professor Kelly.
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