The inadequacy of funding available to the aged care sector has meant that facilities have lacked the ability to fully provide safe and quality care, with the way funding is distributed to aged care providers having an effect.
AN-ACC (Aged National Care Classification) is predicted to provide consistency in the types of assessments used which in turn will reduce the administrative burden of completing assessments. Funding will be the primary driving force in this shift, as with ACFI (Aged Care Funding Instrument), approaching documentation with a re-enablement focus. However, ultimately moving from a task-driven model to a more person-centred approach will mean aged care homes will need to evidence care to secure the necessary funding.
With the change to AN-ACC funding in October 2022, many organisations are concerned about the impact it’s going to have on their funding and internal operations, given the increasing need for a clinical focus however there are solutions to this, such as Digital Clinical Documentation, which allow for better overall care and operations.
Discover more about AN-ACC and how you can be ready for the change in this article.
ACFI which has been the model to date will be replaced by a new casemix classification tool called AN-ACC from October 2022. AN-ACC will focus on individual care needs and those costs of care that benefit all residents, which will be the basis for the new funding model.
It comprises a number of key elements with new residential aged care funding concepts added too. The assessment for care planning purposes is separate from the assessment of the resident for funding which is undertaken by independent external assessors, capturing only the information necessary to assign a resident to a particular class for funding. Staff within the residential aged care home who know the resident well, undertake the assessment for care planning purposes and should be person-centred, based on residents’ needs, strengths, preferences and appetite for risk.
AN-ACC is intended to increase stability and fairness across residential Aged Care funding and improve accuracy and national consistency in assessments. It also aims to reduce time spent on paperwork, encourage innovation and a culture of restorative care and enable providers to increase time spent on safe and effective resident care.
This will transform the way care facilities operate, taking into account every area of the residents’ needs, ensuring care plans meet the personalised approach residents deserve, without compromising on important medical, social, emotional, lifestyle and spiritual needs of each individual.
The implementation of AN-ACC is the first step towards achieving sustainable aged care reform. However, there are points you need to consider when preparing for the changes which the new AN-ACC funding model will bring.
An industry review in 2017 discovered that ACFI was ‘no longer fit for purpose due to it not being specific enough to meet the needs of care whilst aligning with the correct level of funding to meet the level of care required. It’s also been known to be administratively inefficient and costly. However, AN-ACC has been introduced to fill in the gaps and improve the overall residential Aged Care funding and finance landscape, by approaching resident assessments and subsequent funding and staffing requirements from a holistic perspective, whereby all areas of care are accounted for such as a resident’s physical capacity, cognitive capacity, mental health needs and behaviour.
ACFI is based on care plans forming a basis of funding whereas AN-ACC is designed as a funding tool only with care plans completed separately. ACFI subsidies are based on three core areas:
A payment rate was allocated to each through a Nil, Low, Medium and High care need requirement for each area. In addition to the daily amounts, subsidies were applicable to residents for additional care needs such as oxygen and enteral feeding.
With the ACFI funding model, appraisals of the resident are managed by the facility themselves.
Assessment under AN-ACC differs considerably from the ACFI. Under AN-ACC the subsidies payable is made up of three components:
AN-ACC is made up of 13 classes, with each class being split into with and without compounding factors.
With the AN-ACC funding model, appraisals are conducted by independent assessors.
Residential aged care facilities, for now, need to continue doing what they do best, providing great care and continuing to manage ACFI. In the lead-up to October 2022, facilities need to make sure they are aware of the classes that their residents have been allocated to, and the impact on funding that may have. While ACFI funding was specific to different care needs, AN-ACC provides funding that can be managed by the provider to provide the best care for their residents.
Post-October 2022, digital clinical documentation will be key to ensuring that your facility continues to receive the best funding for your residents. Clinical information is the proof that you will require when requesting a reassessment, outside of the hospitalisation reasons. Providers will be able to request a reassessment if 12 months have passed for classes 2-8, or 6 months for classes 9-12 should there have been a significant change in care needs, which a digital clinical system should be able to support the provider in making the decision for reassessment.
Increasingly more aged care providers are seeing that digital clinical documentation systems encourage a more person-centred approach to care delivery focusing on each resident and their individual needs. It allows for improved digital planning and monitoring of the resident's care, as care is being delivered, which reduces the time it takes to evidence care which means carers can focus on delivering the best possible care to their residents, without having to worry about paper documentation.
Icon-driven technology also reduces the need for written language, eliminating language barriers between staff of different nationalities and reducing the risk of misinterpretation.
Through simple, comprehensive software, staff can evidence care quickly and whilst on the go which means the data is securely saved instantaneously and is accessible to all those in the organisation who require access. Carers now have the resources to save time, reduce workloads, minimise errors, and enhance collaboration, whilst being able to deliver a high standard of care the residents deserve. Technology that can often be misconstrued as difficult and complex has now proven to be an instrumental part of aged care facilities’ success, helping to pave the way towards a sustainable funding model that places outstanding care at the heart of its ethos.
Learn more about how digital clinical documentation systems can demonstrate quality care for aged care homes to help secure funding under the new model.
Person Centred Software’s Clinical Care System app has all the best features to ensure your aged-care facility meets the needs of AN-ACC and secures funding. With an icon-driven system, the ease of evidencing care increases with, on average, the ability to record 50 care notes per resident per day. This leads to:
Our innovative digital clinical documentation systems under the new model will allow for a more accurate and nationally consistent assessment process and the burden of paperwork will be removed which will allow carers to focus on providing safe, effective and person-centred care to residents.
Contact our team today by filling in the form to the right so we can get started prior to October 2022 rolling around.