The issue is of appropriate aged care funding, provider charges and government claims and counterclaims about its level of fundijng continues to shake the industry to its core with peak bodies urging an independent review
The CEO of Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), Adj Professor John Kelly AM said ACSA) was on the record for seeking Government support for an independent cost of care study to, once and for all, determine an agreed equitable funding base.
"We shall be taking this up with the Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) as a priority. ACSA is collecting data from our members to determine the effects of the reduction in ACFI subsidies.
"We expect some clear outcomes to be demonstrable by December 2012. ACSA CEOs and board members from across the country are meeting with over 40 federal politicians and ministerial staff this week in Canberra to take Living Longer Living Better and Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) issues forward," he said.
Kelly's comments come after Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) Acting CEO Kate Hough was astounded the Minister for Ageing can refer to enhanced palliative care services in residential aged care when funding is being cut.
Hough said the Minister for Mental Health & Ageing Mark Butler spoke on ABC’s Q&A program last week about the important role aged care facilities play in providing palliative care to frail, older Australians days after LASA released a report revealing the industry faces huge reductions in funding.
She said it was astounding the Minister can refer to enhanced palliative care services in the residential aged care industry when the LASA report revealed vital care funding is being reduced.
The research, undertaken for LASA by the Centre for International Economics, examines changes to the Federal Government’s Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) and predicts aged care providers face a revenue reduction of more than $750 million over
the next two-and-a-half years.
“The report showed 89 per cent of aged care facilities will face ‘unrecoverable’ losses of revenue under the revised funding model, which came into effect on 1 July 2012.
“This means aged care facilities will have a reduction of between $20,000 and $23,000 in care funding for each affected resident every year.
“If the aged care funding model is not addressed quickly, there could be an impact on staffing levels and on the important services our members provide, which are the very foundation of quality care.
“To ensure a viable aged care industry that can provide quality palliative care services, we strongly advocate a move away from a funding model which is artificially constrained by the Federal Government’s budgetary limitations, to one which genuinely matches care funds to people’s needs.
“It is time that the government acknowledged that providing quality care requires adequate funding. The statistical evidence in this report shows that our industry is in very real danger of becoming unable to meet the care needs of our frail, older Australians.
“We strongly support the call of the National Aged Care Alliance for an independent and comprehensive cost of care study into aged care funding, and are committed to identifying a long-term solution to this issue for our industry” Hough said.
More and more of our older community members will have chronic conditions, and need services that will assist them to manage and live well with these conditions at home, writes Benetas CEO Sandra Hills.