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NACCF - Summary of Meeting - 23 March 2018

The National Aged and Community Care Forum met in Canberra on 23 March 2018.

Member Updates

Members were invited to raise issues that are currently affecting their organisations and in particular, advocacy cases they are currently managing. Members provided general feedback on how their members are receiving and using the information that is distributed on navigating the aged care system.

Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) Review

The RAP provides aids and appliances to eligible Gold and White Card holders to help them maintain independence in their homes. DVA regularly reviews its programs to ensure they are meeting the needs of clients and are effective and efficient.  While the RAP Schedule is reviewed approximately six monthly, the last comprehensive review of the Program was in 2013.

The aim of the Review is to ensure RAP:

  • continues to meet the clinically assessed needs of the veteran community; and
  • it is flexible and responsive in catering for the future needs of all eligible veterans and their dependents.

Members were encouraged to submit written input by email to by 30 April 2018.

Navigating the community and aged care system

The Department of Health is undertaking work to improve the usability of My Aged Care and has been seeking input from DVA on a number of their aged care publications to ensure information regarding veterans and their dependents is included. This includes input to the Department of Health’s publication, ‘Five steps to entry into an aged care home’, which is currently being updated.

Members were encouraged to view the ‘Navigating Aged Care’ webpage on DVA’s website to explain the linkages between DVA and Health. DVA is also developing a ‘companion’ e‑booklet to this publication with veteran-specific information.

Diabetes memberships for DVA clients 

DVA currently funds four state and territory diabetes associations (QLD, NSW/ACT, SA and NT) for membership fees for eligible veterans. The remaining associations (VIC, WA and TAS) have not previously applied for DVA funding.

The Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission will shortly be considering a joint proposal from all state and territory diabetes associations, which would enable eligible veterans across Australia access to diabetes associations’ education services.

Veterans’ Home Care (VHC) procurement 

On 3 April 2017, DVA released a Request for Tender for the delivery of VHC services as the Department is required to approach the market at regular intervals to ensure it obtains the best value for money when purchasing services for veterans.

DVA worked closely with new VHC service providers to assist with training new staff, to schedule a smooth transition and to maintain continuity of care to veterans. All affected clients were contacted about the changes and were advised that if they have any issues with their new VHC service provider they can request to be allocated to a different provider in their region.

Transformation and VCR Showcase

Members were updated on the range of transformation projects currently underway in the Department. Members were provided a demonstration on the new online MyService application designed to significantly improve the times taken to process claims.

Department of Health Update 

The members received an update on the improvements to the My Aged Care website and how the Department of Health are working towards a simplified language and pathways to access services. This project has been co-designed with reference groups, real clients and real users. It is an example of positive collaboration with DVA to provide clearer pathways to care. 

Member submissions

Two member submissions were raised by members.

  • Aged care facility fees

This submission raised the question of whether or not the totally and permanently incapacitated (TPI) component of a veteran’s income is included when assessing the amount to be paid for care in an aged care facility.

Members were advised income that is assessed for pension purposes at an aged care facility includes the disability pension. However, when a client has Qualifying Service, disability pension payments are excluded from the calculation of aged care fees.

If Qualifying Service has been rejected or alternately never tested, then any amount of disability pension received by that client will be included when calculating aged care fees. This includes TPI payments.

  • Aged care facility inspections

This submission questioned if DVA, or an Agency on its behalf, carry out inspections of aged care facilities to determine their suitability for veterans.

Members were advised DVA does not carry out inspections of aged care facilities. However, the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, which is approved under the Aged Care Act 1997, ensures high quality care for people receiving Australian Government-subsidised aged care.

The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner provides a free service for anyone to raise their concerns about the quality of care or services being delivered to people receiving aged care services subsidised by the Australian Government.

Guest Presentations

Forum members were addressed by a guest presenter from Allianz Assist, who introduced the objective of Allianz Assist is to provide appliances, care and support to veterans and update members on their current pilot working with Legacy Australia to provide support to DVA clients and non DVA clients.

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