COVID-19 Vaccination – Disability Provider Alert
Due to the surging cases of COVID-19 subvariant omicron infections, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends a winter booster or fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for adults aged 50-64 as well as those at higher risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19. This fourth dose assists in preventing severe disease as well as reducing the strain on the healthcare system. A COVID-19 disability provider alert has been issued by the Department of Health and Aged Care, encouraging providers to access this fourth dose. This alert and other up to date COVID-19 vaccination resources and information can be found on the disability service providers webpage on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.
Update on AN-ACC Shadow Assessments
Residential aged care providers have raised the importance of completing shadow assessments for all residents of aged care facilities prior to the commencement of the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding model on 1 October 2022. Approximately 91% of aged care residents have an AN-ACC classification, and almost every aged care facility has been visited on at least one occasion. Based on this progress, assessments are on track to finish before AN-ACC launches. Providers are encouraged to submit new residents’ information into the Services Australia system and to make requests for reclassification as soon as possible within the My Aged Care Provider Portal to ensure assessments are completed by 1 October 2022.
Award Changes to Affect Home Care Packages
Improved conditions for aged care workers came into effect on 1 July, resulting in older people needing to consent to changes that may be made to their home care package. New standards such as two-hour minimum shifts have been introduced and travel costs between jobs are also being refined, so that adequate funding is provided to ensure workers are supported and clients are not disadvantaged by new changes.
AN-ACC – Palliative Care Entry Arrangements
The new Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding model consists of 13 funding classes that represent the different residents and their care needs. Class 1 ‘Admit for Palliative Care’ is for those who go into residential care specifically to receive palliative care. From 23rd July 2022 providers will be able to indicate this on aged care entry records for new residents. In order to be assigned to Class 1, aged care providers must provide evidence that the resident has three months or less life expectancy and a score of 40 or less on the Australian-Modified Karnofsky Performance scale (AKPS) prior to entry. Evidence can be submitted via Palliative Care Status Forms, which once approved, ensure the resident does not need an AN-ACC assessment.
What is AN-ACC Class 1 (Admit for Palliative Care)?
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Ageing and the Long-Run Fiscal Sustainability of Health Care Across Levels of Government
The economies of OECD countries are experiencing the impacts of ageing populations, resulting in changing patterns of income and consumption. The labour force is projected to decrease, while the demand for health services is expected to increase, both of which impact upon the sustainability of the health system. A smaller labour force results in a decrease in government revenue, while the increased demand on the health system results in further funding requirements. This fiscal pressure is predicted to be experienced unequally between the levels of government. Biase, Dougherty and Lorenzoni (2022) address this in their report by providing estimates of the impact the ageing population may have on the government finances of OECD countries and discuss the possible reforms needed to address these impacts and concerns for all levels of government.