Monday, 6 June 2016

Information for Aged Care Providers

Issue 2016/10

In this issue:

Transfer of web content from to the Department of Health website

Ageing and Aged Care information is expected to move from the DSS site onto the Department of Health’s website in the last two weeks of June.
During this ‘transfer’ period, there may be a content freeze where no new information can be published.
The new url will be Existing links will be redirected; however, stakeholders may need to check links once the transfer has happened.

ACFI claiming: assistance levels for activities of daily living questions explained

Recent Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) reviews have found assistance levels for activities of daily living (ADL) questions recorded inaccurately.
A claim for ACFI ADL questions 1-4 must provide sufficient evidence to satisfy the requirements of the ACFI User Guide. The claim must relate to the specific day-to-day assessed care needs of the care recipient. These needs must be predictable and required for the specified activities as described in the User Guide. They must also be correctly reflected in the claim rating.
Assistance levels for ADL questions in the checklists are:
  • Independent: the care recipient needs minimal or no assistance
  • Supervision: this includes setting-up and standby:
    • setting-up activities are defined as assisting the person to initiate a specified activity or complete part of that activity
    • standby is defined as standing by during the stated specified activities to provide assistance (verbal or physical). To claim standby, staff should be in close proximity to assist for ACFI question 1, and there needs to be a commitment of staff on a one-on-one basis for ACFI questions 2, 3 and 4.
  • Physical assistance: individual physical assistance from another person(s) is needed throughout the specified activity.
Further information is available on the department's ACFI webpage.

Preparing for an ACFI review

When preparing ACFI packs for a review, approved providers should include all relevant evidence needed to support claims made. Review officers are also authorised to seek further information. This can include requesting additional documentation, interviewing staff and observing/interviewing care recipients, as well as assessing the care recipient’s impairment using simple task assessments, or undertaking ACFI assessments.
Approved providers are reminded that when using templated documents in the ACFI packs, completed templates should clearly document the assessed needs of each individual care recipient to support the rating that is claimed.
Further information is available on the department's ACFI webpage.

National Quality Indicator Program third quarter data collection starts soon

Third quarter data collection for the National Quality Indicator Program begins on1 July 2016. For guidelines and information about joining the national voluntary program please review the resource manual on the department's website. If you have questions about Quality Indicator definitions, call the My Aged Care provider and assessor hotline on 1800 836 799 to get in touch with the QI support team. We welcome your feedback and inquiries.

Increasing Choice in Home Care – consultation closes 9 June 2016

On 11 May 2016, the department released a consultation paper and exposure draft of the proposed amendments to the delegated legislation (Aged Care Principles and Determinations) to seek feedback on the implementation arrangements for the first stage of the Increasing Choice in Home Care reforms. These documents, including a submission template, are available on the department’s Consultation Hub webpage. Written submissions to the consultation paper will close at 5.00 pm,Thursday 9 June 2016.
On 20 May 2016, the department held a live webinar to discuss the issues outlined in the consultation paper. The link to access a recording of the webinar is accessible via the department's webinars webpage.

Guidance on direct to service referrals for Commonwealth Home Support Program providers

In 2015 My Aged Care introduced a holistic assessment process, independent of service provision. Clients needing to access Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) services should be assessed by the Regional Assessment Service (RAS).
The department has recently retrained the contact centre to ensure direct to service referrals are only made in circumstances where there is an immediate need for services to start to assure the safety of the client. In all other circumstances the process for providers and contact centre is that:
  • where a client has directly approached a CHSP provider, the provider should refer clients to My Aged Care and not start services without an assessment
  • the contact centre should refer clients to the RAS for assessment of client care needs without any direct referral to providers.
Further guidance on direct to service referrals with examples of exceptional circumstances when they may, and may not, be acceptable is available on the department’s website.
Providers can help by reassuring clients that the assessment is a chance to talk about their needs and goals with an assessor, such as remaining in their home as long as possible. Clients should be made aware of the value of a holistic assessment to ensure the continued provision of services that meet their needs.

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Machinery of Government changes
Due to recent government changes, responsibility for ageing and aged care has moved to the Department of Health. Information is currently still available on the DSS website ( We will notify you when information will be transferred to the Department of Health website (

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