Budget cuts to aged care $350 million more than Gov admitted – LASA

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) says closer analysis of the Budget cuts to aged care show an additional $350 million will be removed from care services than the Government has projected, resulting in more than $2 billion in cuts expected over the next four years.

“We are appalled that the Government and Department have downplayed the total amount they are ripping from aged care services through changes to ACFI,” LASA spokesperson Beth Cameron said.

“Independent analysis by Ansell Strategic, commissioned by LASA for its members, has found that the changes to ACFI will see cuts of almost $350 million more than initially thought. Coupled with the reduction of $607 million announced last December, aged care providers will have to find about $2 billion from other sources to make up the shortfall and remain viable,” she said.

“The detrimental impact of these changes will not only affect providers, but people whose high care needs are being reclassified by a Government that clearly sees them as a financial burden.”

“Downgrading a person’s care score will not actually change their personal health care needs. If someone needs two injections and five tablets at certain times of the day, that is what they need and that is what aged care providers will still have to ensure they can deliver,” Ms Cameron said.

“While LASA welcomed the expansion of the rural viability supplement to allow more providers to receive the financial support they need, it is nothing more than a token that will be overshadowed by the severe cuts over the next year,” she said.

The analysis by Ansell Strategic found:

– The average 80-bed residential care home will see a loss of about $439,000 per year from 2017.

– 44.59% of residents are currently receiving an overall high CHC score, the majority of whom receive treatments to alleviate pain. Initial research indicates less than 13% of residents will be classified as having high complex health needs following the January 1, 2017 changes. This represents a three times reduction.

– Residents are currently funded an average of $45.84 per day for the care of CHC needs, which will decrease by 33% to an average of $30.80 per day for residents who enter care following the implementation of the proposed changes in 2017.

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