Author: Editor

Additional home care packages and MAC upgrades

The Government has announced an additional 6,000 home care packages will be made available to support older Australians with higher care needs in response to the aged care legislative review. The announcement follows the public release of the final report by David Tune AO, which made multiple recommendations for improvements to My Aged Care and additional home care packages. In a joint press release, the Ministers for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt and Ken Wyatt, responded to some of the recommendations in the report and reiterated that support for aged care consumers will be streamlined through a $20 million investment in the My Aged Care information system, to improve public access, especially for rural, regional and remote clients. It is unclear if the $20 million investment is in addition to the funding announced for improvements to My Aged Care in the 2017 Federal Budget in May. The statement also announced that information from the new national home care priority queue is now available to consumers, providing clarity and allowing the Government to track demand for home care and adjust supply where required. While the Department had previously committed to releasing data about the national queue for home care packages in July, providers remain in the dark on how many people are in the queue or which areas have high demand. In response to the Tune review, the Ministers...

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Level 5 home care packages and fee changes amongst Tune recommendations

The long-awaited aged care legislative review led by David Tune AO has been tabled in Parliament and released publicly, with 38 recommendations that mostly relate to supply for both residential and home care services and increased Government investment. The introduction of a level 5 home care package, changes to means testing and fees in residential care and mandatory minimum daily care fees are amongst the recommendations. A need for more high-level care at home and greater flexibility to ultimately enable the removal of supply controls are key themes within the report. While the report confirms additional Government investment will...

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ACFA report reveals few surprises as industry awaits storm of change

It is almost a week since ACFA released its annual report for the 2015-16 year and the response from industry has been somewhat quiet. The most detailed review we have seen came from Catholic Health Australia, in which Nick Mersiades – who is also the Deputy Chair of ACFA – provided a digestible summary of the 166-page report with commentary that we can best describe as very measured. You can read Catholic Health’s full summary here or see ACFA’s full report here. In a nutshell, while ACFA concludes the financial performance of the residential sector and investor sentiment continued to improve during 2015-16, mainly due to what is believes is a result of the reforms, it was ‘other income’ ie non- operating income that offset the sector’s overall net operating loss of $240 million. In the home care space, there was an overall decline in financial performance with average EBITDA and NPBT both dropping by 7 per cent, though in both residential and home care providers in the top quartile showed strong increases in average EBITDA (42 per cent increase in home care to $6,190 per package and in res care average EBITDA was $25,254). Within the bottom quartile, there is a significant variation in average EBITDA by ownership. Government providers reported a negative EBITDA of $21,025, compared with negative $1,802 and positive $514 for not-for-profit and for-profit providers...

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Aged care, social housing recognised in Telstra’s Business Awards

Several companies working in aged care and social housing have been named winners of Telstra’s annual Business Awards. GenWise Health, an online clinic platform designed specifically for aged care, took out the main award of National Business of the Year, in addition to Micro Business of the Year and South Australian Business of the Year. The Adelaide-based company was formed by two GPs working in residential aged care who found inefficient record keeping of medical notes, poor communication and a lack of peer support particularly challenging. In 2014 they developed GenWise as a service for GPs working outside traditional...

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Window for aged care developments in Adelaide to by-pass council planning

Three aged care facilities proposed by Life Care to be built in Adelaide have been granted “major development” status under new legislation that will enable the provider to by-pass council planning laws. Aged care developments worth more than $20 million automatically qualify for the special status under the changes introduced by Planning Minister John Rau, in a bid to encourage development to meet demand. The three proposed redevelopments, in Joslin, Norwood and Glen Osmond, will be reviewed directly by the state Planning Commission’s assessment panel. A proposal to extend the existing Joslin site from two storeys to seven is...

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