Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Sept-Oct 2017 Contents Residential funding reform
Study to understand drivers of resident
care costs underway.
Government is probing into the
costs of providing residential aged
care to people with var ying needs.
The Residential Aged Care
Resource Utilisation and Classification
(RUC) study will help guide long-
term reform in sector funding,
Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said
when announcing it in mid-August.
The study is being conducted
by the Australian Health Services
Research Institute at the University
of Wollongong and builds on the
Alternative Aged Care Assessment,
Classification System and Funding
Models report, which was
completed earlier this year.
It is the first time relative costs
have been systematically studied since
the 1990s, Minister Wyatt said.
“Understanding how resident
characteristics drive care costs, what
costs are common for all residents
and what impact the location and
size of facilities has on costs, will
help us better design the funding
system,” he said.
The RUCS will look at the
characteristics of residents that drive
their care costs, how to classify
residents into groups with similar
care needs and costs and whether
a different classification system will
facilitate more equitable residential
care funding into the future.
The investigation has been
welcomed by provider peaks who
told AAA it would provide valuable
insights and inform the exploration
into ACFI alternatives.
But it falls short of the
comprehensive cost-of-care study the
sector has long been calling for.
Aged & Community Ser vices
Australia chief Pat Sparrow said
broad community discussion about
the overall and public and private
mix of funds and how quality of care
desired can be afforded was needed.
Any comprehensive cost of care
study should consider the adjacent
services to residential aged care –
home and acute care, said Cameron
O’Reilly, CEO of Aged Care Guild.
Leading Age Ser vices Australia
CEO Sean Rooney said the study
must address funding sustainability
and consider the full cost of
providing aged care services.
The study is expected to be
completed within 12 months. n
THE NETWORK of nine state-
based advocacy agencies has won the
tender to run the Commonwealth’s
new national program to provide
advocacy to older people receiving
or seeking aged care.
Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt
announced in mid-July that OPAN
would receive $25.7 million over three
years to run the program from 1 July.
The Federal Government
confirmed a single program and
framework would replace the previous
NACAP model – where ser vices were
delivered by a different organisation
in each state and the ACT and two
in the Northern Territor y – when it
released the findings into its review of
aged care advocacy in March 2016.
The nine OPAN member
organisations signed an agreement
in August last year to formalise their
network and strengthen cooperation
between the ser vices.
Following the announcement,
OPAN acting executive officer Fiona
May told AAA the national approach
enabled the delivery of a more joined
up and nationally consistent ser vice
with better access mechanisms..
Advocacy will still be focused on
the quality of aged care services and
making sure current and potential
clients understand and can access
their rights, Ms May said.
The funding allows OPAN to
increase its regional presence from
21 to 28 sites over the next two
years, expand the range and deliver y
of education services nationally,
including new training resources
for aged care staff, and deliver new
education in regional and remote
parts of Australia. n
New NACAP underway
The Older Persons Advocacy Network has
begun delivering new national program.
Report calls for better
linkages between health
and aged care.
IT IS VITAL to improve the interface
between health and aged care to address
the lack of primar y and medical care in
residential facilities, according to a report
for government on how to improve
dementia ser vices.
The KPMG report is based on
the feedback of the December 2016
It was completed in March and
released by Minister for Aged Care Ken
Wyatt in August.
The forum aimed to consider the
redesign of dementia support ser vices and
seek feedback on the consumer journey,
the structure of support programs and
how to improve the journey and increase
the reach and sustainability of programs.
While the Commonwealth
Government had a policy to drive
collaboration between acute and primar y
care via the local hospital and primar y
health networks, it had no agenda to link
in aged care, the report said.
It called for a model that promoted
significant collaboration between
the three sectors to make transitions
easier for consumers along with more
accessible specialist and GP medical care
in aged care settings.
Participants also reported there
should be a structured approach to
teaching in aged care that included
formal relationships between providers
and tertiar y institutions rather than the
current ad-hoc approach.
Elsewhere, the report said for ward
planning by both individuals and their
care providers in the community was
needed to make the “fundamentally
difficult” transition into residential aged
care as easy as possible.
Participants said that the transition
into residential care was also hindered
by the physical design of facilities,
which “are often behind large walls,
creating fear and reducing integration
into the community.”
It called for providers to consider
social design principles to make residential
facilities more accessible.
The report will contribute to
the current redesign of dementia
support ahead of the revised program
commencing in July 2018, Minister
Wyatt said. n
8 | SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER 2017
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