RUCS Sector Reference Group Meeting Summary – 4 April 2018

Page last updated: 15 August 2018

RUCS Sector Reference Group Meeting Summary – 4 April 2018

Project update

Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI) provided an update on the Resource Utilisation and Classification Study (RUCS). The project is progressing well:

Study One (The service utilisation and classification development study)

  • Six Hunter sites completed Study One data collection on 31 March 2018. The remaining four Hunter sites will undertake data collection over April and May.
  • Data collection began in Melbourne on 1 April 2018. Far North Queensland will begin data collection on 1 May 2018.
  • AHSRI shared positive feedback from resident assessors using the Study One assessment tool.

Study Two (The shared costs analysis study)

  • AHSRI has invited 110 facilities from across the country to take part, and will confirm participation with these facilities over the coming months.
  • Data collection has commenced with the facilities who have confirmed their participation.
  • Data collection will continue on a rolling basis over the coming months as facilities agree to take part, and is scheduled to be finalised by the end of June.

Implementation and policy issues

Members had an initial discussion on key policy and implementation challenges to be considered should Government make a decision to adopt a fixed and variable casemix classification and funding system. Key issues raised include:

  • Potential transition challenges and options;
  • The interactions between residential aged care funding reform and quality reform work; and
  • Potential reassessment protocols.

It was noted that further discussion on each of these issues will need to be held at future meetings, and that the results of the RUCS will inform these discussions.

Update on Quality Reform Work

Members discussed the potential impacts of shifting to a casemix funding arrangement on aged care quality arrangements. It was suggested that a move away from the prescriptive nature of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) may facilitate a wider variety of therapies and services being offered based on resident needs and preferences.

Sector Communication and Consultation

The Department is developing a comprehensive sector consultation strategy for residential aged care funding reform work. Members provided feedback on the draft strategy.

In addition, AHSRI will be presenting at various conferences and meetings on the progress and results of the RUCS over the remainder of 2018.