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Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Page: 1221

Senator Cormann asked the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing, upon notice, on 17 December 2008:

Why did the Department audit back 18 months under the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI), when prior to the ACFI the Department only audited back 3 months.

Senator Ludwig (Minister for Human Services) —The Minister for Health and Ageing has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

Claims for Government funding are made by approved providers based on their own assessments of residents’ care needs.

To validate a claim, documentation relevant to the appraisal of the resident is examined. The documentation reviewed covers the timeframe in which the approved provider’s appraisal of the resident was conducted. This is usually three months worth of material and would not generally be more than 12 months old as previously Resident Classification Scale (RCS) classifications expired annually.

In the last six months of 2008, the Department of Health and Ageing conducted additional reviews targeted at ‘grand parented’ rates. In these cases, a new Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) appraisal has been completed for a resident, but the funding is maintained at the previous RCS level, and as such it was the documentation supporting the RCS that was reviewed. In these situations, material considered could have been dated 18 months prior to the visit.