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Featuring prominently in the news over the last couple of weeks has been the Federal Budget. Following the release of the Aged Care Royal Commission, it’s no surprise that there are big plans for the aged care sector.

As a result of the findings from the recent Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, aged care reform was a centrepiece of this year’s budget with plans for a large injection of extra funds to be invested in the sector.

Read our latest article for a breakdown of how the recent budget will affect government funded nursing homes, as well as the aged care industry as a whole.

 

What is the federal budget and why is it important to government funded nursing homes?

Each year in May, the government releases the Federal Budget – which is its plan on how they intend to spend Australian taxpayer’s money. Since the budget proposes to significantly invest into aged care to make nursing homes and home care affordable for older Australians, this current budget affects all ageing Australians.

This year, the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered the Budget and committed $17.7 billion in increased funding over 5 years to reforming the aged care sector.

 

How much funding will the aged care sector receive?

In response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the government is seeking to reform the aged care sector.  To do this, additional funding of $17.7 billion will be delivered across 5 years with the total spend on aged care expected to be $25.9 billion for 2021-22.

For more information on the Aged Care Royal Commission, read our article here.

 

What is the timeline for the allocation of funds?

The additional $17.7 billion will be invested across a 5-year period.  The timeline for the distribution of funds is outlined below:

2020-21           $250 million

2021-22           $2.1 billion

2022-23           $4.4 billion

2023-24           $5.5 billion

2024-25           $5.5 billion

 

What will this funding be used for?

The additional funding is directly related to the findings of the Royal Commission and is divided into 5 parts or ‘pillars’ that address a range of issues. Broadly, these include making the system more accessible, improving the quality of aged care, developing a more skilled workforce and helping older Australians to remain living in their home for longer.  More specifically, the 5 pillars are:

Pillar 1 – Home Care: to provide support to senior Australians choosing to remain in their own home.

Pillar 2 – Residential Aged Care Services and Sustainability: to improve and simplify residential aged care services and ensure value for money

Pillar 3 – Residential Aged Care Quality and Safety: to comprehensively improve residential aged care quality and safety

Pillar 4 – Workforce: to develop an aged care workforce that is skilled, compassionate and professional.

Pillar 5 – Governance: to improve the governance across the aged care system.

Under Pillar 3, $200.1 million has been pledged to introduce a new star rating system which will be used to better inform senior Australians and their families of the quality of aged care services.  Through our free online resource ‘Aged Care Reviews’, families already have access to over 13,000 ratings and reviews of nursing homes, respite care and home care services. These reviews are based on the experiences of previous and current aged care residents and their families, as well as people who have toured facilities as part of their placement journey.  To see the reviews or add a review of your own, visit Aged Care Reviews at this link and use the online tool.

Funding is also expected to be directed to better supporting people to navigate placing into Residential Aged Care.  The free service we provide at Aged Care Decisions already offers this support, helping families navigate the aged care system throughout the entire aged care journey.

We are a fast, free and independent service that can provide a customised list of aged care options to match your care needs.  Our team of placement specialists can guide you through the process, providing personalised service to ensure you receive relevant information and advice.  Click here or call us on 1300 775 870 to access our free service.

For a more detailed breakdown of each pillar including the money to be spent under each one, please click here.

 

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How will government funding impact the care received in nursing homes?

 This additional government funding aims to ensure our senior Australians have access to high quality care services whilst being treated with dignity and respect.

To address the Royal Commission’s recommendations, $21.1 million will be provided to establish greater accountability and independent oversight while $301.3 million is intended to address failures in care and increase the capacity and capability of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the government body responsible for regulating the sector).

For those people living with dementia, $74.8 million will support providers in delivering high-quality, individualised care through specialist advisory services and enhanced training.

A new Aged Care Act will also be prepared and enacted, replacing previous versions and ensuring consumers are at the centre of the aged care system.

Find more detail on how care in government funded nursing homes will be impacted here.

 

How will these changes be implemented in nursing homes?

Residents in nursing homes will see the impact of these changes as early as 1 July 2021 when residential care providers begin receiving an extra $10 a day per resident.  This new government-funded Basic Daily Fee supplement will support providers in delivering better care and services.

From 1 July 2022, nursing home providers will need to report on and also publish their ‘care staffing minutes’ (the amount of care time provided to each resident) on the My Aged Care website. They will also start reporting to residents and their families on the care they have delivered.

To ensure the standard of residential care improves, from 1 October 2023, residential care facilities will also be required to deliver an average of 200 care minutes per resident per day.

For senior Australians receiving residential care, from 1 July 2024 funding will become available for care packages assigned to consumers, rather than providers.  This will bring about greater choice and also encourage providers to deliver better quality care and facilities.

For now though, if you or a loved one need assistance with the aged care journey, Aged Care Decisions is here to help along every step of the way. Using our extensive provider network, Aged Care Decisions can provide a customised list of aged care options to match your care needs, right now and all for free.

If you’re wanting to learn more about the recent budget or receive assistance in choosing an aged care home, please click here or call us on 1300 775 870 to access our free service.

 

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