Confusion over Changes in the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) Lead Some Facilities to Seek Expert Help from Firms Like W&L Consultancy

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According to the Australian Ageing Agenda, recent changes to the ACFI have stirred up debate about what the changes mean for aged care residents. Aged care facilities often do not have enough staff on hand to keep up with all the changes, and some turn to firms like W&L Consultancy to help them maximize the funding they get for each resident.

“By working closely with the nursing staff involved in the ACFI process, we have often been able to identify residents whose funding does not match their needs,” explained Nick Heywood-Smith, CEO of W&L Consultancy.

According to Australian Ageing Agenda, Australia’s Department of Health and Ageing recently made changes to the ACFI in July 2012. This has stirred up debate between the Minister for Ageing and some organizations over the effects of the changes on aged care residents.

According to Australia’s Minister for Ageing, Mark Butler, the Department of Health and Ageing has made changes to the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) that resulted in increased funding for residential care from $8.8 billion in 2011-2012 to $9.1 billion in 2012-2013.

Mr. Butler pointed to data presented to the ACFI Monitoring Group to show that average subsidies increased from $133.96 per resident per day to $134.83 per resident per day after they made changes to the ACFI. However, the Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA) and the Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) have both claimed that there will be hundreds of millions of dollars cut from ACFI in 2012.

ACSA pointed out that other data presented at the same ACFI Monitoring Group meeting showed a different picture. ACSA said Mr. Butler picked out an isolated statistic to bolster his point, but left out several key data presented to the ACFI Monitoring Group. Most notably, there was data from the same meeting that pointed to a reduction in funding of $2.21 per resident per day when compared with funding that would have been given had the changes not been made.

According to ACSA, the Minister has increased funding. However, he has increased it at a slower rate of growth than it would have been if he had not made changes to the ACFI. Furthermore, LASA pointed out that specific changes to the ACFI had reduced growth of funding by $0.05 per resident per day compared to the funding residents would have gotten without the changes.

Faced with complicated changes to ACFI funding, many aged care facilities are turning to ACFI experts to help them maximize the funding they obtain. W&L Consultancy, a subsidiary of Wellness & Lifestyles Australia, is one of those firms. They work by meeting with facilities to assess whether a reappraisal of the facilities’ residents would be appropriate.

“By working closely with the nursing staff involved in the ACFI process, we have often been able to identify residents whose funding does not match their needs,” explained Nick Heywood-Smith, CEO of W&L Consultancy. If a reappraisal is appropriate, W&L Consultancy implements their reappraisal system to match residents’ funding with their clinical needs. In some cases, this process has led to funding increases of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for the facility.

About W&L Consultancy

W&L Consultancy is a part of Wellness & Lifestyles Australia. They work by analysing each resident in an aged care facility. Then they provide the facility staff with education, planning, and a documentation system that ensures maximum Government funding for each resident. Their new ACFI consultancy services are now available across Australia.

To speak with an ACFI expert at W&L Consultancy, go to http://www.wlconsultancy.com.au.

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