Stronger regulation with a new Aged Care Act
A new Aged Care Act will introduce tougher regulations of the aged care sector to protect older Australians from abuse, neglect and rip-offs.
This will include:
- Setting a legislative definition of high quality care.
- Giving the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission stronger investigative powers to thoroughly assess risks to older Australians in care.
- Introducing new civil penalties to protect people who make a complaint.
These measures will enable strong action to be taken against providers who fall short of the required standards of care, with potential for civil and criminal charges.
Establishing an Aged Care Complaints Commissioner
We are taking the first steps to establish an Aged Care Complaints Commissioner to ensure complaints against providers are properly and thoroughly dealt with.
In 2021-22, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission received 10,326 complaints across all aged care services – a 22 per cent increase from 2019-20.
The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner will be appointed by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner to manage and investigate complaints concerning aged care providers, practices, staff and assessors.
This independent oversight will hold providers accountable for wrongdoing.
Aged Care Complaints Commissioner – $9.9 million over 24 months.
Introducing an Inspector-General of Aged Care
A new Inspector-General of Aged Care will provide independent oversight of the aged care system, identify systemic issues and solutions to improve services for older Australians.
They will be responsible for:
- monitoring and evaluating implementation of the Government’s aged care reforms, including data collection and analysis
assessing the aged care system against the objectives of the new Aged Care Act
- reporting to Parliament on ongoing and emerging issues.
Inspector-General of Aged Care - $38.7 million over 4 years.
Improved information collection and publication
Empowering older Australians with up-to-date information
Older Australians must have access to clear, accurate information on aged care providers so they can make informed decisions about their care needs.
We are making improvements to the My Aged Care website to ensure it has the most up-to-date information on aged care services, including performance and comparable financial information.
More transparency of aged care funding
To build trust in the system we are increasing transparency on how Australian Government funding is used by aged care providers.
The new Financial Report on the Australian Aged Care Sector gives a big picture of how aged care providers are spending money. The report covers revenue and expenses for care, accommodation and everyday living costs such as food and maintenance.
To support this work, over the next 6 months residential aged care providers will need to publish and contribute to:
- General Purpose Financial Statements
- Star Ratings
- monthly Care Statement pilots.
By January 2024, comparable, standardised and benchmarked financial information on residential aged care services will be available on the My Aged Care website.
To help providers meet increased reporting requirements, we will improve ICT platforms to make it easier to report on spending and care minutes.
Aged Care ICT to Enable Reform: My Aged Care and Future ICT Platform – $312.5 million over 4 years.