Amid concerns about potential funding losses, providers are hopeful a forthcoming analysis will provide a clear picture of the likely impacts of proposed changes to residential aged care funding.

The analysis currently being conducted by peak body Aged and Community Services Australia and accountancy firm Bentleys SA will study the proposed Revised Aged Care Funding Instrument against the current funding tool.

On Wednesday Australian Ageing Agenda reported on an analysis by Allied Care Group that found facilities could lose more than $6,000 on average per resident annually under the proposed changes.

The analysis seen by AAA showed the impact of the changes varied widely across the eight facilities examined – from a net benefit of $4,700 per resident annually to a loss of $20,000 per resident.

Pat Sparrow

Yesterday Pat Sparrow, chief executive of ACSA, told AAA that the forthcoming research with Bentleys would analyse the four domains of the Revised-ACFI, using data from representative facilities, and compares those against the current ACFI.

“This analysis aims to examine the range and mix of facilities – including metropolitan and regional, small, medium and large, corporate entity and sole provider – and whether the type of facility creates variance in the impact of the R-ACFI,” she said.

The analysis is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

The proposed Revised-ACFI includes fewer and simplified questions in the tool, a new therapy program for pain management and potential options for external assessment (read our backgrounder here).

Peak bodies representing exercise physiologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists have all backed the proposed new therapy program.

But Leading Age Services Australia has called on the government to reject the Revised-ACFI while ACSA has called for no changes to ACFI without consultation and pilots “to ensure the impacts on quality of care for residents and provider sustainability are understood.”

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  1. Being a small rural remote facility obtaining the services of a university trained practitioner to fullfil the role required for the proposed therapy program will be very difficult albeit impossible for us. Our facility is 45kms or 82 kms from the nearest town where a practitioner could be located and the costs of obtaining this service would well outweigh the financial benefit. If a trained Cert 4 exercise provider could do this service that could be more realistic and more obtainable for smaller remote facilities

  2. Financial benefit trumps resident benefit, so just de-skill the entire service (or don’t even provide it)? Not much of a solution.

    Either we fund aged care properly or start eating Soylent Green.

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