Healthdirect begins pricing data collection for My Aged Care

Healthdirect Australia will shortly begin contacting residential aged care providers to collect details of their maximum accommodation prices to be published on the My Aged Care website.

Healthdirect, a state and federally funded health information service that manages My Aged Care on behalf of the Department of Social Services (DSS) as well as the National Health Services Directory (NHSD), has developed a partially pre-populated template for each aged care provider to fill in.

The template includes combination of drop-down menus and free-text fields for providers to insert accommodation pricing and a description of key features of each type of room. The pre-populated data will be linked to each provider's National Approved Provider System (NAPS) identification.

The information will be published on the website by mid-May for new residents entering care on or after July 1. Aged care providers are also required to publish the information on their own website and in any other materials given to residents and their families.

Maximum accommodation prices need to be shown as both a refundable deposit and a daily payment amount, and needs to include an example of a combination payment. They must also provide an explanation of the payment options.

Along with details about the different types of rooms and services, the site will allow people to compare prices between different types of accommodation and understand what features are included in the prices.

While the first effort at collecting the information will require some manual handling, DSS is planning to work with the aged care industry to develop a streamlined process for maintaining and updating information through a provider portal on the website.

The new requirements are part of the previous government's Living Longer Living Better package, which also established My Aged Care as the public face of the Aged Care Gateway plan. The gateway was previously managed by the former Department of Health and Ageing before the ageing and aged care portfolio was transferred to Social Services by the new government.

Publication of accommodation pricing will also enable the planned residential aged care fee estimator tool. As part of the second phase of the roll-out of the gateway, basic electronic referrals and a central client record will be established, along with telephone-based aged care assessments.

There is also a plan to develop a home care fee estimator, a secure client portal enabling people to view their client record, and a secure service provider portal.

The third stage of the plan, to be implemented between 2015 to 2016, is for integrated electronic referrals, integrated wait list and capacity management tools, and the client record to be linked to the person's PCEHR.

Authorised healthcare providers involved in the care of the person, including GPs and community nurses, will be given access to the client record.

Posted in Aged Care

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