New bill to establish independent oversight of the aged care system
On 22 March 2023, the Government introduced key legislation to drive transparency and accountability across the aged care system.
Once passed, the Inspector-General of Aged Care Bill will establish the role of an Inspector-General that monitors and investigates the Commonwealth’s administration and regulation of the aged care system, supported by a new statutory body.
The Bill will give the Inspector-General the powers to investigate systemic issues in the administration and regulation of aged care, including complaints management processes, and to report and make recommendations to Parliament to improve the aged care system. This will include identifying and promoting best practice and innovation across the aged care sector.
It is expected the legislation will pass through Parliament and become law in the second half of 2023, allowing for the appointment of the Inspector-General. Until then, Ian Yates AM will continue as Interim Inspector-General.
Find more information on the Inspector-General of Aged Care on the department’s website.
New Quality Indicators for residential aged care from 1 April 2023
The National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program is expanding, with 6 new quality indicators for residential aged care coming into effect on 1 April 2023.
Residential providers are required by law to:
- collect new quality indicator data in the April-June 2023 quarter
- submit their data in the 1-21 July reporting period through the My Aged Care Provider Portal.
To better understand the new reporting requirements:
- review the dedicated resources and guidance materials on the department’s website
- contact the My Aged Care Service Industry, Provider and Assessor Helpline with questions on 1800 836 799.
Following the January 2023 update to the Home Care Packages (HCP) Provider Manual, 2 webinars will take place – one for HCP providers and one for care recipients.
On Tuesday 4 April at 2pm-3pm AEST the department will host a webinar for HCP providers to explain what is included and excluded under the HCP Program.
You will have an opportunity to submit questions. Register for this webinar for HCP providers and peak bodies.
For care recipients, the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) will host a webinar titled Home care packages: what’s changed? on Tuesday 18 April at 1pm-2pm AEST.
A department representative will join OPAN’s panel to discuss what is included and excluded under the HCP Program, and what recent caps to charges will mean for home care services and fees.
Older people, their families and carers can register for OPAN’s webinar.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has developed the Home Services Pricing and Agreements – Navigating changes the right way guidance for Home Care Package (HCP) and Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers.
This guidance focuses on what is expected of providers in setting prices for home services and making changes to home service arrangements, including home care agreements.
It draws on the Commission’s experience of engaging with HCP and CHSP providers and consumers regarding home care pricing, arrangements and agreements.
Vision Australia webinar: Overcoming compassion fatigue
Vision Australia is presenting a webinar about overcoming compassion fatigue for Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers. The webinar will be held on Wednesday 5 April at 3pm‑4pm AEST and is free to all staff working for organisations offering CHSP services.
Suitable for aged care workers and HR staff, Vision Australia’s experts will share information on compassion fatigue, such as:
- signs you could be experiencing compassion fatigue
- why addressing compassion fatigue early is critical
- individual strategies to overcome negative thoughts
- methods to build company-wide strategies to support workforce resilience.
Providers with capacity to deliver more funded residential care than their current place allocation allows can seek additional places through a streamlined, non-competitive process.
The bed-ready process is available until 30 June 2024, when residential aged care places will be assigned directly to older people through the Places to People program.
Find out more about the bed-ready application process