2018-19 acar opens

it’s that time again

This update highlights some of the elements related to the residential aged care application process. The forms are streamlined however the process is more competitive than it has ever been. The impetus is to be able to evidence need and demonstrate the compelling reasons your organisation and service is best met to serve the needs of our elder Australians. In the 2018-19 ACAR, nationally, applicants can apply for:

13,500 residential care places 775 short-term restorative care (STRC) places up to $60 million in capital grants

The indicative timeframe:

Opens 2 July 2018 Closes 11.59PM AEST 10 August 2018 Results expected April 2019

Priority, but no guarantees

The department will give priority to assessing and allocating places to suitable applications for residential care places to services located in regional, rural and remote areas. You are not however guaranteed places simply because you are located in a regional, rural or remote area.

The level to which applications are sought will now be given a category of prioritisation, from Category 1 (highest priority) down to Category 6 (lowest priority).

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ACAR to open July 2

The following provides a short summary of communication from the Department of Health regarding this years’ Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR)[1]. The 2018-19 ACAR will open on 2 July 2018 and close 10 August 2018; and approximately eight months later the results will be announced. The information below is related to residential aged care places only; more information on Short Term Restorative Care places and Capital Grants can be found on the department’s website.

Distribution and targeting information will be available on the department’s website when the ACAR opens, however in the meantime the expected residential aged care places available for allocation in each state and territory are as follows:

Allocation year NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT Total 2018-19 3,349 1,415 4,289 3,295 431 212 360 149 13,500

Please note: the department does not guarantee that the exact number of places will be allocated to each state and territory.  The final allocation of places will reflect the best use of all of the available places, based upon the applications received and outcomes of the overall …

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2018 aged care approvals round (ACAR)

The Department of Health has released a Question and Answer Guide in anticipation of the upcoming Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR). The following is a summary of some of the pertinent points.

There will be an ACAR announced soon. The application period is open for six weeks and the Department will take around eight months to assess applications. There will be:

13,500 residential aged care places nationally 775 STRC places $60 million in capital grants

Previous ACAR

The 2016-17 ACAR was the most competitive on record with providers applying for a total of 45,053 places. There was an allocation of 9,911 new residential aged care places, 475 STRC and $64 million in capital grant funding.

Ideal contributed to the success of close to 15% of all places allocated in the 2016-17 ACAR.


The number of new places made available for allocation will be influenced by:

the aged care provision ratio population projections, and current levels of service provision, including newly allocated places not yet operational

The primary consideration of the assessment and recommendation processes is to ensure, where …

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the devil wears….packages??

Amanda Priestly (The Devil Wears Prada): “Florals? For Spring?… Groundbreaking.”

Naturally we welcome the announcement of 14,000 additional Home Care Packages over the next four years, particularly at Level Four, however we are certainly not alone in stating that for aged services this is not ground breaking news. There is a lot more to be done.

The announcement as one of the budget showstoppers for aged care is underwhelming; and frankly alarming knowing that already 10,000 people a month are assessed by an ACAT for aged services and we currently have 105,000 people waiting for a home care package. Given the ageing demographic profile in Australia this is expected to increase exponentially over the next few years. We eagerly await the release of the additional 74,000 packages in 2021-22.

There however remains much opportunity for home based service provision; there is always an upside and opportunity for smart businesses.

In order to make sure you are in the best position to meet the needs of your market now is the perfect time to review your strategy and develop a plan …

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budget 2018: moving towards a consumer demand driven system – baby steps

The Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017 – the Tune Review, described that “there is a broad consensus shared by government and sector stakeholders that aged care requires further reform to become a more consumer-centred system. This includes orienting care and the supply of different care types around the demands of consumers, and giving consumers greater choice and control.”

Responding to this, buried on page 147 of 472 in the Federal Budget Health portfolio statement of May 2018, the Government announced that it ‘provides in-principle support for the transition of residential places to the consumer, pending a detailed analysis of the impacts of such a model.’ Reported by Rick Morton in the Australian newspaper today ‘the Government has allocated $300,000 to conduct an ‘analysis’  of the impact of unshackling residential aged care funding from providers and giving it straight to the people’.

This is a baby step in the reform process. The turbulence and disruption experienced during implementation of a consumer focused home care model and the transition of disability services to the NDIS model both provide valuable information for …

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accommodation pricing review

Three years on from first publishing accommodation charges and astonishingly many providers have not reviewed their pricing 

RAD pricing should be reviewed regularly.

In other instances we have also observed providers wildly fluctuate RAD pricing in order to determine their market position. This causes a level of distrust for consumers so it is important to get it right.

The introduction of Additional Services has proven complex – Additional Services, when well articulated and in line with what consumers want, can definitely work in some areas but not others.

Ideal can independently pin point your market and opportunities to maximise revenue through competitive pricing.

Don’t just listen to us; here is what one of our clients has to say about our work:

“… detailed assessments have helped us better understand our market position (ranking) in each of our catchment areas, who our best competitors are, recommended room pricing levels, where we need to upgrade our accommodation offering in comparison to our main competitors and the potential room price up upside of an accommodation upgrade. … able to refine their assessments to the …

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home sweet home

HOME SWEET HOME The goal of older Australians is to remain living in the place they love and feel comfortable in – their home. The aged care reforms aim to support this by increasing the provision of Home Care Packages (HCP) and home based supports.

A GROWING SECTOR Australia’s ageing population and the policy reforms transitioning home and community based supports to a consumer focused market driven sector have created a rapid increase in the number of businesses that have become Approved Providers of HCPs. Strong interest continues. Motivation for providing HCPs varies. With over 100,000 people currently on the waiting list for a HCP there is strong demand for services creating the opportunity to establish a new business. For some businesses it diversifies their revenue stream, for others it ensures continuity of care for their client base and for others it may fulfil a commitment to organisational values.

INCREASED CHOICE FOR CONSUMERS The number of HCP providers has grown rapidly. In June 2016 there were 496 Approved HCP Providers; today there are over 800. This growth reflects the attractiveness …

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special reports for residential providers

The latest demographic and demand reports specifically designed for aged care.

If you are looking to acquire, extend or build an aged care home you need solid facts and data to inform your decision. If you are planning your next ACAR application you need strong data to support your bid. Ideal has collated and analysed information on every SA3 in the country.

Yes there are some other reports around but none that are tailored specifically to aged care usage. Make sure you analyse relevant data rather than age groups that are not yet users of your services.

Ideal Analytics presents a detailed report of the key demographic and socio-economic characteristics characteristics of the relevant older population in the area, the projected growth for services, the supply of residential aged care places, and considers the need for residential aged care places in the current market conditions and in a deregulated environment.

This is the ideal a reference document for planning the location and service characteristics, developing a business case, developing an ACAR application and understanding the broader financial imperatives of …

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transitioning to a new set of quality standards in aged care

The Draft Aged Care Quality Standards have been released by the Department of Health. The development of the standards has been a collaboration between Government and the sector resulting is a single set of consumer-focused quality standards that can be applied across Commonwealth funded aged care programs.

This single set of standards will replace the current four sets of standards operating that operate across Residential Aged Care, Home Care Packages, Transition Care Programs and the National ATSI Flexible Care Program.

The standards are to be implemented from July 2018 and following a 12 month transition an assessment against these standards will commence in July 2019. Providers will need to adopt a whole of business approach to successfully implementing the new standards.

There are eight standards: Standard 1: Consumer dignity and choice Standard 2: Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers Standard 3: Personal care and clinical care Standard 4: Services and supports for daily living Standard 5: Organisation’s service environment Standard 6: Feedback and complaints Standard 7: Human resources Standard 8: Organisational governance

The existing individual program …

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good returns on home care packages

PROVIDERS CONTINUE TO MAKE GOOD RETURNS ON HOME CARE PACKAGES Under the changes implemented in February 2017 Home Care Package (HCP), once allocated a package from the national allocation system a consumer has 56 days to choose their Approved Provider. Geographical boundaries for Approved Providers have been removed and home care is an increasingly competitive, market driven environment. Comparing a recently released report on HCP financial performance for Sept 2017 to the report same produced for December 20162 shows that top quartile providers continue to achieve good profit margins and have increased their direct service provision hours.

In Sept 17 top quartile Band 2 (provider income $30 to $50 per client per day) providers are making $4,967 per annum per package; an increase of 11.3% on the Dec 16. Nice work!

Although the average profit margin for top quartile providers of Band 4 (provider income of > $100 per client per day) packages in Sept 17 has decreased by 4.8% compared to Dec 16 this group of providers is making $11,683 per package per annum. Still nice work!

Responding …

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