The Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) is an independent statutory committee whose role is to provide independent, transparent advice to the Australian Government on financing and funding issues in the aged care sector. ACFA considers issues in the context of maintaining a viable, accessible and sustainable aged care industry that balances the needs of consumers, providers, the workforce, taxpayers, investors and financiers.
Under its operating framework, ACFA is required to provide advice by 31 December 2015 to the Assistant Minister for Social Services on cost neutral mechanisms to ensure access to care for supported residents, including reviewing the supported resident ratio. This work entails analysing the efficiency, effectiveness, and appropriate level of:
- the supported resident ratio for each aged care planning region; and
- the 25 per cent discount applied to the maximum accommodation supplement amount where a service does not provide more than 40 per cent of its eligible care recipient days to supported residents.
In order to assess these two mechanisms it is important to have a clear understanding of what is meant by ‘effective’, ‘efficient’ and ‘appropriate’. For the purposes of this paper a basic definition of each term may include:
Effective: successful or capable of producing a desired or intended result
Efficient: achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense
Appropriate: suitable or proper in the circumstances
To assist in the development of its advice to the Assistant Minister, ACFA is seeking the views of stakeholders.
A principle underlying aged care means testing is that people who can afford to contribute to the cost of their care should do so, and those that cannot afford to pay should not be denied access to services. While aged care accommodation is considered a personal expense, in line with the above principle, the Australian Government has a safety net for those who cannot afford to pay all or part of their accommodation costs.
For the purposes of this paper, supported residents are considered to be those residents who are eligible for Government support toward the cost of their accommodation.
Submissions closed 9 June 2015.