Optimising AN-ACC funding with eCase

Published by Health Metrics, February 2, 2023

In challenging times for the aged care industry, it’s vital that providers ensure they receive all the funding they are entitled to. With the bulk of provider revenue based on AN-ACC funding, the risk of inaccurate assessments and data could have dire consequences for an organisation’s bottom line.

According to recent media reports, aged providers are still yet to fully optimise AN-ACC funding, which came into effect October last year. In December, the Australian Ageing Agenda highlighted industry analysis by Mirus Australia, showing that the average daily subsidy residential aged care providers received under AN-ACC was below government projections. The data shows the Department of Health and Aged Care’s predicted average subsidy of $225 per bed per day fell short by $4.00, leaving $227 million of funding on the table.

Suitable systems for managing and reporting on your data play a key role in managing the risk of being underfunded. This is where the eCase Residential Aged Care software platform, specifically designed for aged care providers with inbuilt AN-ACC funding capability, can assist organisations in optimising their AN-ACC funding.

Accurate data is key to AN-ACC

AN-ACC uses a case-mix model, with different weightings associated with different levels for care. These weightings are then multiplied by a price to determine the funding for each resident. The key to reaching the correct level of funding is maintaining a high level of accuracy when submitting classification data.

eCase provides comprehensive, easy to use AN-ACC funding management and reporting tools, allowing providers to identify gaps between care needs and classifications, whilst providing clinical documentation to support funding requests. The software seamlessly provides real time online transmission to Services Australia with detailed information regarding transactions and processing status.

Understand your case-mix funding

eCase allows you to be in control of AN-ACC assessment data and to easily calculate your resident case mix classifications. The software comes ready with AN-ACC Clinical Assessments, also key to ensuring that your facility optimises funding for your residents.

Using real-time resident data, providers can analyse and predict the total revenue from AN-ACC, understanding the case-mix across multiple sites or single sites.

The eCase integrated CRM also provides insights as to the provider’s financial position in regards to new or incoming residents, allowing you to report on resident classes and palliative entry (from admission).

Fast track re-assessments

Providers should be mindful to reassess residents’ AN-ACC classifications. According to recent analysis, almost 40 per cent of permanent aged care residents have an AN-ACC funding assessment that was deliberated 12 or more months ago. This equates to over 70,000 residents with potentially outdated classifications.

Given there are few constraints to requesting a reclassification, it’s worth providers implementing a proper review process to sustain accurate funding.

eCase helps providers achieve this with a visual score tally based on real time data. This allows providers to identify those who should be reassessed whilst also providing the documentation as evidence to assist in requesting for re-assessment.

Predicting and managing care minutes

For every level of funding that is determined for a resident under AN-ACC, there is also a care minutes requirement associated with that funding level. Achieving the correct level of funding will be based on balancing care minutes and maintaining a high level of accuracy when submitting classification data.

It should be noted that providers aren’t expected to meet the 200 care minute targets for each individual resident, as each resident will have different needs in regards to care. The total target at the facility level will be the sum of all the individual targets for the residents and the total of care minutes divided by the number of residents will provide the minimum average care minute requirement that should be met for that facility.

eCase will enable facilities to easily gather care minutes data using the eCase Mobile App at the point of care. Care minutes data can also be gathered using your preferred HR system and integration with eCase will deliver required reporting.

eCase allows you to plan and manage your workforce according to care needs and to predict labour hours required by resident ratios. eCase assists in distributing equitable workloads to facility staff and identifies resource trends against needs. Facility profiles enable the re-engineering of rosters and the redefining of staff resident ratios, whilst estimating your AN-ACC funding and required care minutes.

The time to go digital is now

From 1 October 2023, the average of 200 minutes of care will become mandatory. It’s vital for providers to have an efficient process in place prior to this date, to ensure compliance and ongoing sustainability.

Added to this, the star rating system for all residential aged care facilities went live in December 2022. Presently 90 per cent of providers have received a rating of three stars or above, however the scores for minutes of care were taken from a time when the sector was not required to meet the 200 minutes of care. In order to retain or boost their rating, providers will need to have ample reporting and tracking mechanisms in place.

By centralising all data, eCase enables providers to operate efficiently and easily retrieve, analyse and report on key operational, financial and clinical metrics. eCase provides one source of truth for care assessments, progress notes, care plans, alerts, workflow, charting, medication management, rostering and catering.

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