COVID-19 Changes to CHSP Flexibility Provisions
CHSP providers have flexibility to move and re-allocate grant funds between certain funded service types, Aged Care Planning Regions (ACPR), and sub-programs, to better meet community demand. The level of flexibility depends on where providers would like to re-allocate funds to. Service providers will need to seek written approval from the Department of Health before re-allocating funding from Assistance with Care and Housing (ACH) to another sub-program or ACPR. Providers can also re-allocate funds from other service types and from other ACPR into Sector Support and Development. However, written approval will need to be given before re-allocating base funding from Sector Support and Development to other service types or outside of an ACPR Regular Review and caution is needed when moving funds.
Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA NSW) Releases Report Entitled What Older People Think…
COTA NSW’s 2022 edition of their 50+ report, What Older People Think…, has been released. This report is based on survey responses from over 6,000 Australians aged 50 years and older, and explores issues relating to climate change, Indigenous recognition, portrayal of older people in the media, and so on. The report found that most older people support action on climate change and the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian constitution. It also reported that many are concerned with the increasing lack of access to information and services due to advances in technology. Opinions were also divided when it came to intergenerational issues, with some saying that young people have it worse while others saying that things are better now.
Read the full report
Supporting Access to Primary Health in Residential Aged Care
The Department of Health is funding Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to support providers in establishing telehealth facilities and equipment, developing plans and procedures to enable access to after hours services, and offer training and education on telehealth, digital record keeping and My Health Record. This comes in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (Royal Commission), where several areas of concern were identified relating to lack of access to GPs and after hours services and unnecessary hospital transfers. Support will be expanded to other areas in the near future, such as support for healthy ageing and information and referral pathways for people with dementia.
New AN-ACC Funding Model and Other Changes
There are several changes to funding models and payment systems that will come into effect in the coming months. The Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding model changes are due to begin from 1 October 2022; the internal Aged Care Payment System will also be upgraded, which will impact residential aged care providers and software developers. Online claiming channels will be view-only from 14 July to 22 July 2022 inclusive. Outstanding claims will therefore need to be finalised before 13 July to ensure timely payment is made. These changes will mean that more can be done through the My Aged Care Portal, and certain forms will be decommissioned.
Specialisation Verification Framework Application
The Department of Health has developed the Specialisation Verification Framework to support the needs of older Australians with diverse aged care needs. From 27 June 2022, aged care providers delivering care to older Australians from diverse backgrounds will be able to apply for verification, ensuring they first meet the criteria for this verification. Applications can be made through My Aged Care and verified specialisations will remain valid for three years.
Impact of Changes to the SCHADS Award for the Home Care Packages Program
There have been changes to employment conditions for home care workers due to the changes to the Social, Community, Home Care & Disability Services Award (SCHADS), which will take effect on 1 July 2022. Through consultation with stakeholders, the Department of Health has developed a fact sheet about the changes which will impact the Home Care Packages Program, and what the options are for home care providers.
Read the fact sheet
NDIS Pricing Limit Increase to Strengthen Sector and Improve Supports
From 1 July 2022, there is a new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) price limit which will allow NDIS providers to charge nine percent more for services delivered by disability support workers. Participant plans will also be automatically increased to account for the change in cost. This change, as outlined in the media release from the Hon. Bill Shorten MP’s Ministerial Office, “recognises the true cost of continuity of support”, and will support the workforce and provide better outcomes for participants.