What is the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI)

Dr. Drew Dwyer, Consultant Gerontologist of Frontline Care Solutions, speaks about Frontline’s online aged care courses – the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) seminars and the Clinical Leadership for Advanced Practice (CLAP). These courses help clinicians and carers to concentrate in the best practice of care.

Frontline gives advanced evidence-based solutions in the field of aged care, communications, frontline management, creating effective team environments, documentation and accountability. Frontline uses the “Three Word Model” that symbolizes their strong foundation –  Understanding, Support and Leadership. They understand and respect the tireless efforts of their clients, supporting them with the right solutions in operations, and providing them leadership through evidence-based training and knowledge that will help them advance their practice and give them confidence in their careers.

To learn more about Frontline’s workshop and webinars, visit here. All workshops and webinars are facilitated by Dr Drew Dwyer.


Wayne Bucklar:  Today my guest is from Frontline Care Solutions, he is Dr. Drew Dwyer. He is a consultant gerontologist and he is here to talk to us about something of deep interest to everyone in the aged care industry, the Aged Care Funding Instrument. Drew, welcome to the show.

Dr. Drew Dwyer:  Thank you Wayne, thanks for having me.

Wayne:  What is the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI)?

Dr. Drew:  Yes. Well what is known as ACFI is the Aged Care Funding Instrument. Now funding specifically is of huge concern to everyone who is entering than aged care system. The ACFI funding actually only funds people who move into a nursing home or traditional nursing home or what is known today as a “Residential Aged Care Facility.” Now the ACFI funding is of course run by Medicare and it is a funding system that pays a gap in the service that’s been provided to somebody who’s already paying to be in a nursing home. So the funds basically sit as what Medicare will pay you as a citizen and fund the provider who’s providing you resources to care for your health conditions in a nursing home as you go through your final stage of life.

Wayne:  What are the benefits in signing up for Frontline Care Solutions’ ACFI training courses?

Dr. Drew:  So they do run courses primarily and people understands this in the system’s, the processes, the documentation and the ticking of boxes. So that courses run by the government are great but they specifically focus on the fundamentals of the government system and the working process of the cogs and the wheel and how to actually fill out a document, tick a paper and be validated for audit of the government so that you are meeting the regulatory requirement and that they will allow you and approve your funding. The biggest issue with this is they don’t delve into the context of how to apply this funding instrument in a real bedside lifelike situation and particularly, for clinicians and mainly registered nurses in aged care or physiotherapists and allied health, they have to validate through this ACFI system that their clinical assessment, their diagnosis and their care plan is at the best practice guidelines that actually validate the rationale for the resources that are being used for the person’s care and that the government when they audit the funding can clearly see that they have applied proper best practice and clinical practice. Now one of the issues is many people lose their audits because they’re writing and designing the care specifically only to meet the ACFI instrument or the funding tool. And in Frontline, we don’t work in that space because I always say much to people not liking it but you can train a monkey to fill out a box and tick a document, it’s not that hard. But it requires specialized skills from clinicians to maintain a focus in the best practice of care but at the same time, understanding this process will be affected by a funding instrument and it’s not so much to design your care to meet the funding, it’s to design your care to best practice so that every resource available is valid because you have proven the resources needed. So I actually teach what is known as a multidisciplinary case management framework so that clinicians can actually step through a sequence, they can validate and they can be very confident that the normal work they do will stand up to any audit of any funding instrument and they don’t have to then cloud their judgment, or their critical thinking or clinical decisions by simply trying to force it to match up to a funding instrument. So I work in the reverse and the clinicians connect with this very well.

Wayne:  Frontline Care Solutions will be conducting live seminars in the second half of 2018, what can participants take away from these?

Dr. Drew:  Yes. Well Frontline focuses on its three word model and that’s “Understanding, Support and Leadership.” So part of that process is Frontline understands the role of the person who’s coming to that seminar. They’re generally a clinician, a registered nurse, allied health person and we want to support them. So we take that knowledge of their systems and processes and then we use our own documentation, it’s a general documentation, assessment forms, guidance tools and things that support assessment and care planning for elder people in care. And at the end of their training, we give them the leadership through the training and knowledge and we lead them towards our cache of documents on the internet and they’re able to pull down those documents that they’ve learned and used in the seminar workshop all day and they can take those instruments back to their workplace and implement them or blend them with other things. But really the clinicians that come, they just don’t want knowledge, they want practical implementation and we give that by understanding what their needs are, supporting them with the right documentation and validation, and then teaching and leading them the sequence of how to do it. So they come away with not just knowledge, they come away with supportive tools, documents and resources which is really a bonus for anyone who attends the course.

Wayne:  For those interested to participate in any of your seminars, can they register on

Dr. Drew:  They can and so if you’re getting lost, you can also just Google “ACFI Training” and of course Frontline comes up at the top. It’s probably Wayne, with boasting for Frontline, our most heavily attended course because the transitions of clinicians and people in ACFI is ever moving and of course the government is forever moving the rules and regulations. But it’s very popular because of that factor we spoke before. Clinicians come, we aim it from a different angle and it basically closes the gaps that the government course has taught them about the system. They more or less get that “aha moment.”

Wayne:  What is the CLAP Course with Dr. Drew Dwyer being offered by Frontline Care Solutions?

Dr. Drew:  Yes. Well Frontline asked me to design a new course. They’re getting a large amount of interest from the healthcare sector across all domains. So of course Frontline is a care solutions provider, we work across a lot of domains. But “clinical leadership” is an emerging critical factor in healthcare. So healthcare clinicians and practices of clinicians are now elevating and businesses, hospitals, healthcare organizations are wanting their clinicians to be espoused in clinical leadership because clinical leadership is an evidence-based well known knowledge in the literature and research. Professors like myself understand this, we teach it at universities in small segments to equip clinicians to be prepared for leadership in a clinical domain. Our course called a CLAP Course which stands for “Clinical Leadership for Advanced Practice” is a course that is written for all clinicians from any domain who want to understand and learn the skills which are primarily soft skills and complex skills where it establishes them if they are in a position of management, and leadership and decision-making or they are wanting to move to those higher end clinical positions – nurse unit manager, clinical manager, hospital manager but they are clinicians. Our course prepares and teaches a series of modules which gives them the fundamental principles and the knowledge of mastering clinical leadership as a competency to help advance their practice and give them confidence in an advanced role in clinical work. So it’s aimed at all clinicians, doctors, nurses, allied health, anybody who is sitting in a role or looking at a role of wanting to be advanced practice. An advanced practice of course is quite holistic, you have to deal with other clinicians, people, consumer,s management and it requires refined skills in emotional intelligence, in critical thinking, and decision-making, in managing services and resources, and confronting conflict and a whole range of things. So the course is done as a face-to-face workshop to begin and then the students move into our online learning program where they complete a series of modules to give them a certificate in clinical leadership for advanced practice. And I’m busy working at the moment to look at having this course identified and accepted by a couple of universities who will allow it to give credit points into a Masters or a Graduate course in clinical leadership. So it’s exciting stuff but of course, many clinicians also are too afraid to just jump straight into a master’s degree at university because the complexity of that is hard to take on when you’re working full time. What our course does is slowly build the skill, transitions and allows that clinical leader to be a master in what they’re doing and to have more confidence. So yes, it’s a good analogy. Come and get a dose of CLAP with Dr. Drew and we’ll work with your clinical leadership in advanced practice.

Wayne:  It does sound like a great course with an unfortunate acronym. Drew, it’s been a pleasure having a chat with you today. Thanks for giving us some time.

Dr. Drew:  No worries. Thanks Wayne, thank you everybody.

contact Frontline Care Solutions


Leave a Reply