Aged Care Funding in Australia Q&A

Michael Gaggiano - Head of Shared Services - Vivir Healthcare

Michael Gaggiano - Head of Shared Services - Vivir Healthcare

23 November 2020

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Aged Care Funding 101

For years our experienced Head of Shared Services, Michael Gaggiano, has navigated the tricky world of aged care funding and is now providing us with answers to some common questions he receives.

So, if you’re searching for funding options to support homecare or aged care residents this aged care funding 101 is the perfect introduction to cut through the jargon.

Funding Options FAQs

  1. What is aged care funding in a nutshell?
    Aged care funding refers to the financial support offered to people living in aged care facilities. This is offered via the residential aged care facility (RACF) each individual resides in.

  2. Where does aged care funding come from?
    Aged care funding is provided directly from the Australian government. A significant part of the Australian federal budget each year is dedicated to supporting older Australians via this instrument.

  3. What is the current aged care funding instrument in Australia?
    Across all Australian residential aged care facilities, the current funding tool used is called the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI).

  4. Are there different aged care funding options?
    Whilst the majority of financial support is provided via government paid funding programs, additional payment schemes are also sometimes used. These can be through a user pay system, NDIS payments, The Department of Veteran Affairs or EPC (medicare sessions).

  5. How does aged care funding work?
    Each person who enters a RACF is assessed for their individual care need. Many categories are considered but all fall within three broad domains:
    a) Activities of daily living
    b) Behaviours
    c) Complex health care
    Depending on a resident’s care needs, an appropriate amount of funding will be provided.

  6. What does ACFI actually pay for?
    The funding instrument is designed to offer financial support to older Australians within aged care by providing an amount of daily funding specific to the individual needs of the resident. The greater a resident’s care need, the greater amount of time and staff members will be required to care for this resident.

    Specialised machinery such as lifting hoists, standing machines and gait aids may also be required. In these ways, ACFI is able to directly pay for these services. Additional services are also paid through ACFI for programs such as exercise, pain management and allied health services.

  7. What is AN-ACC?
    AN-ACC stands for the Australian National Aged Care Classification and is the latest proposal by the Australian government to offer a newly designed funding instrument for financial support to residents in care and the aged care providers that care for them.

  8. Why is AN-ACC being introduced?
    The Australian government are always trying to improve the way healthcare is delivered in the aged care sector. As part of their ongoing commitment to provide better care to older Australians, the government has actioned multiple trails and studies to determine the most effective and cost-efficient way to deliver care. The result of these findings has been the proposed AN-ACC model.

  9. Will ACFI be replaced by the AN-ACC funding model?
    There is no formal confirmation that the Department of Health will implement the AN-ACC model. Qualifying AN-ACC assessments are being completed through 2021, after which the government will release its findings and future funding plans.