AMA submission to the Department of Health – proposal for a new residential aged care funding model

31 May 2019

The AMA acknowledges that this significant reform will need to be improved over time as unknown risks emerge. For this reason, the AMA regards the Australian National – Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) model as a positive first step to improving the funding of the aged care sector to improve the quality of care older people receive. The AMA cautions that (National Weighted Activity Units) NWAU prices must be adequate, sufficiently indexed, and adjusted for staff wages growth so quality care is not compromised by a lack of funding. The AMA urges the Department to consider the existing issues under the hospital NWAU system under the AN-ACC model context. In addition, to consider the issues of ACAT assessments and its workforce. While AN-ACC assessment should be independent, it is important that care planning assessment is communicated with the AN-ACC workforce in case there are unforeseen care costs that are not picked up in the assessment. The AMA supports further studies into which aged care supplements should be retained to determine which unforeseen care costs should be funded for by the government. The AMA also supports using the AN-ACC data to continuously improve the model and the wider aged care system.