The release of a new report into aged care funding highlights a range of options to modify Australia’s residential care funding instrument.
Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, said the Review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) would inform the Turnbull Government’s continuing aged care reforms.
“We are determined to put residential care funding on a more consistent, sustainable and equitable footing,” said Minister Wyatt.
“The Commonwealth currently contributes a record $18.6 billion per year to aged care and by 2020-21 this is expected to reach more than $22 billion.
“We are committed to a system centred on safe, quality care for our older Australians, while ensuring expenditure is affordable for consumers and sustainable for taxpayers.”
The report, prepared by Applied Aged Care Solutions, undertook a comprehensive review of ACFI, focusing on ways to improve the current tool, including adapting it for external assessments of funding needs and updating it to bring it into line with current care practices.
“We welcome the new report on residential aged care funding reform, which adds to the options provided in a recent University of Wollongong report,” Minister Wyatt said.
The Government-commissioned study was released in April this year, outlining a variety of potential new funding models and tools for the aged care sector.
Minister Wyatt said no decisions had been made, with the next step in the long-term reform process a Resource Utilisation and Classification Study, now underway at the University of Wollongong’s Australian Health Services Research Institute.
This study is investigating the drivers of residential care costs, according to location and the varying needs of individuals in care.
“We will continue to monitor use of the existing Aged Care Funding Instrument to ensure expenditure remains under control, while maintaining quality care,” Minister Wyatt said.
“We are equally committed to continue working with the community and the aged care sector to get these reforms right.”
The report is available on the Department of Health’s website.