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Review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument

By Julie McStay26 Jan 2010

The Commonwealth Minister for Ageing recently released the terms of reference for the Commonwealth Government’s review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (the Review). The Commonwealth Government is seeking submissions from a diverse range of individuals and organisations that have had experience with using the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI). Submissions will be accepted by the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) until 5pm (AEDST) Friday 12 March 2010.

This is an excellent opportunity for aged care providers to consider the impact (both positive and negative) the ACFI has had on their facilities and business. Providers should give careful consideration to their submission and ensure that, to the extent possible, their submission includes considered and viable alternatives to any of the ACFI processes that the provider considers have a negative impact on the ongoing viability of the industry as a whole or on their facility or business.

Preparing a submission

As a starting point, submissions should address the Review’s terms of reference and provide justification for all comments and recommendations made. It is important, to the extent your submission calls for a change in any of the ACFI processes, that your submission is supported by evidence which shows why the current processes require change. It is also important to remember that all submissions will be published on the DoHA website. If you wish any information contained in your submission to be treated as confidential, you need to explicitly and clearly identify that information and outline why you consider it to be confidential.

It is not necessary for your submission to address all of the matters covered in the terms of reference. It is important however, that you clearly identify which points of the terms of reference you are responding to and set out your submission on those points in clear and concise terms. Where possible, you should provide evidence to support your position that a change in an ACFI process is appropriate.

While there is no specific format that a submission should take, it is important that it be an ordered response that clearly sets out:

  • the terms of reference you are responding to;
  • your position in response to the individual terms of reference;
  • to the extent you submit that there should be a change in any process under the ACFI, details of the proposed change;
  • any evidence that you rely upon to support your position that a change is necessary; and
  • details of how the change will result in a positive outcome for providers and residents.

You should also include an executive summary at the start of your submission which outlines key points of the submission.

Issues for review

The key issues to be examined in the review fall into five broad groups:

  • matching funding to care needs;
  • funding outcomes and impact on aged care providers;
  • documentation and administrative arrangements;
  • design issues including the roles of health professionals; and
  • interface with other elements of aged care.

Providers are reminded submissions are due by 5pm (AESDT) on Friday 12 March 2010.