The Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding model, which replaces the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI), begins automatically on 1 October 2022 for residential aged care providers. From this date, providers will no longer need to conduct ACFI appraisals of residents. Once assessed by an independent assessor, an AN-ACC classification level will be assigned, which will determine their payment rate. Residents who have not yet been assessed will be assigned a default class until they have been assessed, in which case payment will be adjusted to reflect the true classification. If a resident’s needs have changed since the initial assessment, providers can ask for a reclassification. Services Australia will process the payment changes according to the new payment system from 1 October 2022, which will be reflected in November once lodged. The Department of Health and Aged Care has made several resources available to help providers understand the new funding model and classifications.
Quarterly Financial Report Submission
The portal for approved aged care providers to submit their Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) for the first quarter of the 2022-23 financial year opens from 1 October 2022 and will close on 4 November 2022. There is a QFR template, frequently asked questions, and guidelines available here. Providers can also call or email the Forms Administration helpdesk for further questions, on (02) 4403 0640 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changes to COVID-19 Isolation Periods for Wider Community and High-Risk Workers
The period of time that someone from the wider community must spend isolating once COVID-positive has been reduced from seven to five days if there are no symptoms present after the fifth day. This does not apply to workers in high-risk settings such as aged care, disability care and in-home care, whose isolation period remains at seven days. Further to this, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) strongly recommends that anyone from the wider community be excluded from attending high-risk settings such as residential aged care homes, and hospitals until at least seven days afterwards and are without symptoms.
Change to Maximum Permissible Interest Rate (MPIR)
From 1 October 2022, the MPIR rate will increase to 6.31% for the 1 October to 31 December reporting period. This applies to accommodation prices and interest on refunds of accommodation lump sum balances. Providers need to ensure that accommodation prices are updated on all online and printed materials, as well as on the My Aged Care website. For questions or help updating My Aged Care profiles, please contact the service desk on 1800 836 799.
New Residential Aged Care Quality Indicators
There are additional aged care quality indicators being introduced, which will be included in the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program). These indicators include daily living activities, hospitalisation, quality of life, and more. Detailed guidance and resources will be released on 1 October 2022 to assist providers in enhancing monitoring and reporting, which will help to improve transparency. Providers can collect this information as a routine part of quality care before mandatory collection begins from 1 April 2023.