MMM “top-up” grants to help aged care sector

Despite its isolation, there is set to be no change to Broken Hill’s Modified Monash Model (MMM) classification until 2026. However, Council has been advised of a new temporary grant opportunity for one-off support in 2024/25.

The top up grants are to be available to a number of residential aged care services located in isolated MMM3 – a large rural town, of which Broken Hill is categorised due to its population – and MMM4 communities to the higher MMM5 base care tariff rate to support eligible services and remain viable while allowing the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority to undertake costing studies.

“What the top-ups do is allow you to operate as if you were a classification five even though you’re classification three, you get the money that a five would get. Which would be much better for Broken Hill,” Mayor Kennedy explained.

“Because we are isolated, we have to pay more for staffing to get them here. You have to pay for housing, you have to do all this sort of stuff because you’re isolated. You’re not in Lithgow where people can come from Sydney or wherever they like without additional costs. We’re isolated. We have to pay more for staffing and that top-up would allow our centres to pay that.”

Mayor Tom Kennedy doesn’t believe the MMM3 classification will be the government’s final position but urged Councillors and the community to continue to pressure the federal government through both the state government and private operators.

“Governments and Ministers act if they have to act. We need to keep the pressure on. I have no doubt, at the very least, that we’ll end up being funded to the same level but I’m still confident that with enough pressure the Minister does have the authority to change it and I believe that he probably will,” he said.

“At the moment it’s designed on population and because of our population we’re automatically in that category of MMM3 but when you take into account our isolation and the small groups around us, we easily fit into different categories. I think it will be taken into account.

“There’ll be more focus from the people involved to ensure that we do get into those categories. What we need to do is get in those categories now, because we want to make sure that we have aged care facilities when 2026 comes around.”

Recently, the classification was changed for the pharmacies in town, going to an MMM6 category.

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