AMA welcomes My Aged Care ICT system fixes
AMA advocacy has contributed to the Government’s recent announcement to spend $20 million to fix the frustrating My Aged Care information technology system alongside an extra 6,000 high need home care packages. Although this is a promising step, the AMA continues to push for more packages to improve the My Aged Care system.
The announcement from the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, and Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, follows the release of the Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017 Report, led by David Tune AO, PSM.
AMA Vice President, Dr Tony Bartone, said he was pleased that the Review adopted a number of the AMA’s recommendations. However, he said that the 6,000 extra home care packages still fall short of demand.
“The Home Care Packages Program Data Report released today notes that at 30 June 2017, there were 53,750 people seeking home care who had not yet been assigned a home care package,” Dr Bartone said.
“While the extra places are welcome, they won’t go far in tackling the enormous backlog of applications.”
A further 35,154 consumers on the national queue have been assigned an interim level package that allows them to receive home care at a lower level according to the most recent Home Care Packages Program data report.
Dr Bartone indicated that the system was continuing to create administrative problems for GPs.
“In its submission to the Review, the AMA outlined the multiple inefficiencies with My Aged Care. In its current form, My Aged Care cannot satisfactorily handle electronic referrals from GPs, forcing them to resort to outdated methods like fax machines,” he said.
“The online form for an ACAT referral is not linked with clinical software, so it can’t be auto-populated with the GP’s clinical records, or be directly saved to the patient record. Instead, it has to be saved as an external document and attached, creating a significant administrative burden for already time-limited GPs.”
The AMA has advocated these concerns to the Department of Health on numerous occasions Dr Bartone said.
“Improving communication with My Aged Care contact centre staff is essential to avoid missing vital information on a patient’s application form, which has considerably delayed care in the past. The Tune Report recommends that the National Screening and Assessment Form should be revised.”
The AMA’s submission to the Legislated Review is available here: https://ama.com.au/submission/ama-submission-department-aged-care-legislated-review-2016-17
The Legislated Review Report is available here: https://agedcare.health.gov.au/legislated-review-of-aged-care-2017-report