iCareHealth recently attended the 2015 LASA National Congress in Melbourne. In part two of our wrap-up of the event, we look at some of the key issues of discussion: the My Aged Care gateway, aged care sector reforms and the importance of effective governance.
Reform was a key topic throughout the LASA Congress, with Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) Chairman, Lynda O’Grady, holding a session on the progress of reform for both the residential aged care and home care sectors. Created in 2012 to provide independent advice to the government, ACFA has helped inform a number of key reforms. With the aim of heading ‘…towards a more robust and sustainable market based industry’, Ms O’Grady explained that the home care sector has experienced a number of consumer driven reforms. While these have been largely positive, Ms O’Grady emphasised the importance of better communicating the advantages of the consumer led system to both care recipients and home care providers. For the residential aged care sector, Ms O’Grady highlighted that ACFA has helped to create a more open system with full transparency of provider costs and payment requirements. Ms O’Grady explained that the overall objective of ACFA is to help create an innovative and responsive industry so that it can remain sustainable for the long term.
My Aged Care gateway
Established in 2013, the My Aged Care gateway was created by the Federal Government to help older Australians and their families navigate the aged care system. Senior Economist at The Australia Institute, Matt Grudnoff, explained that from July 2015, My Aged Care became the single entry point for people to access aged care services. The concept of the gateway was to eliminate multiple entry points to the aged care sector, and to provide a single solution for government, assessors, aged care providers and care recipients. While Mr Grudnoff admitted there has been issues with the rollout, he explained that extensive resources are being invested in the website and My Aged Care call centre. As a result, healthcare professionals can now refer patients into the aged care system via the call centre.
There was a large push towards effective governance at the LASA Congress, with particular emphasis on its importance in an increasingly consumer driven marketplace. The audience heard that good governance must be driven from a board level, and that including an RN on the board often helps drive effective clinical governance. This can also be achieved by forming a leadership group to set the strategic direction and help develop an implementation plan. Several speakers emphasised that effective governance is increasingly important as the aged care market becomes more competitive. With the introduction of Consumer Directed Care (CDC), both home care and residential aged care recipients have become more selective, and aged care providers will need to turn to marketing to highlight their good governance and other achievements.
Missed part one of our 2015 LASA National Congress wrap-up? Read it here.