AHPA and our Aged Care Working Group recently responded to a request from the Inspector-General of Aged Care for our comments on Commonwealth Government implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Aged Care Quality and Safety. The Inspector-General particularly wanted to know whether stakeholders agree with how progress on implementation has been summarised by the Department of Health and Aged Care.
Our feedback was that the Department has consistently not considered, consulted, or adequately provided for the work that allied health professions perform to help maintain or improve quality of life for older people, particularly in residential aged care.
The Royal Commission was clear on how important allied health is to the wellbeing of older Australians receiving aged care, and so it is disappointing to see that this has not been picked up by the Department and Government when formulating actions in response to the Royal Commission.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is introducing a new business platform, PACE, to better manage access, planning and payment claims . The changes will particularly affect registered providers and the participants who use them.
AHPA is a member of the NDIA PACE Advisory Group, which consists of representatives from the NDIA, NDIS providers, disability organisations and carers. The Advisory Group meets regularly to prepare for the national rollout of PACE and to discuss the best way to support participants and providers in the transition to the new process, which has been trialled in Tasmania.
AHPA supports any changes to NDIS systems that make it easier for participants to get what they need and for providers to be able to efficiently provide quality supports. But there are some concerns and calls for improvement from participant and provider groups before the system expands across Australia.
AHPA also wants to make sure that therapy support providers, particularly small and sole traders, are properly supported in the change period so that they understand the proposed changes and can easily make the shift to the new system. The NDIA is running education and information sessions for providers and participants.
AHPA have gained great insight from AIDH, the MedInfo conference ‘Interoperability and Standards Workshop,’ and the many high quality workshop participants who have openly provided their knowledge, resources and ongoing assistance; relating to the required next steps AHPA need to undertake to ensuring the allied health sector is well placed to be a part of the connected digital ecosystem of the future.
We are now undertaking a scoping review of the sector in relation to value based health care and considering how digital interoperability can help to facilitate filling knowledge and evidence gaps related to sector wide statistics.
AHPA continue to liaise with the Australian Digital Health Agency as we confirm the detail regarding collaborative tasks to be conducted over the next two years.
Collaborative work with Services Australia and member organisations to ensure all allied health practitioners are able to access a Healthcare Provider Identifier – Individual number (HPI-I) continues, this work will ensure the basic infrastructure requirements to enable My Health Record access for practitioners is in place for all members and their practitioners
AHPA will contribute to the aged care data and digital strategy being developed by the ADHA to encourage the sector to consider how essential allied health information can be incorporated into the aged care digital initiatives under way.
Given allied health professionals don’t typically work only in the aged care sector, a focus on standardising data and connecting information systems across mandatory and commercially available systems fit for broader allied health practice is an essential element for Government to facilitate.
The ADHA have begun developing the ‘Aged Care Clinical Information Systems Standards’ which will describe the minimum requirements a clinical information (practice management) system used in Residential Aged Care Facilities should have.
Consultations with stakeholders to enable input across the health professional and consumer sectors began on 25/7/2023 and will continue in various stages and formats.
AHPA are providing ways for members to provide input via Pool updates as available. Additionally, Lisa Murphy Director, Standards Digital Solutions Division Australian Digital Health Agency can be contacted regarding this project. Questions and queries can also be sent to email@example.com
In keeping with AHPA’s Health Peak Body Grant agreement, AHPA initiated its first member survey for the year in April 2023. This survey is designed to take a deeper look at the distribution of the allied health workforce. Where feasible, data will be mapped to PHN boundaries, which will improve our understanding of workforce volume and distribution, via PHN or similar large geographic regions.
AHPA sought independent legal advice to ensure that the contractual requirements to comply with privacy law have been satisfied. The advice we received concludes that those requirements are met, since the limited data elements being shared as part of the survey do not in the hands of the Association constitute “personal information” as defined in the Privacy Act.
Consequently, AHPA has recommenced collecting data for the survey and requests member organisations who have not yet supplied the requested data to complete the survey. This data is important for our advocacy of allied health workforce issues for service delivery and workforce planning.