Delivering a new Aged Care Act
- Develop and deliver a new Aged Care Act and associated ICT system changes – $81.9 million over 3 years.
The new Aged Care Act will focus on aged care residents and recipients, rather than service providers. It will clearly set out the obligations of aged care providers and legislate requirements that protect the rights of older people in Australia to safe, quality care.
The new Act will respond to several recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety final report, including:
- a rights-based approach, putting the needs of older people first
- improved systems to enter and access aged care
- robust provider registration scheme, streamlined obligations, better governance and stewardship arrangements, and nominee arrangements for supported decision-making
- enhanced regulator monitoring and enforcement, and ability to manage integrity risks
- increased protections for whistle-blowers, and an improved complaints framework
- revised information management framework for protecting personal and sensitive information and supporting data sharing
- grants to fund specialist and enabling services.
We are delivering an extensive digital transformation, coordinated change management and widespread communication. These activities will enable the department to roll out reforms and support the aged care sector to transition to the requirements of the new Act.
A new Act will benefit aged care residents and recipients by enshrining the rights of older people in Australia in legislation through a statement of rights.
Aged care providers and workers will benefit from increased protections for whistle-blowers and improved complaints processes, as well as clear decision-making principles and obligations.
Embedding choice in residential aged care
- Places to People – $41.3 million over 4 years.
From 1 July 2024, residential aged care places will no longer be allocated to aged care providers. Instead, older people will be directly allocated a residential aged care place so they can receive care from their chosen provider.
We are investing in tools and resources to help older people make informed choices and ICT systems to:
- allocate residential care directly to older people
- improve the My Aged Care website, Find a Provider tool and call centre.
Older people will have genuine choice and control to select their aged care home for the first time, as well as flexibility for those wishing to move to a new home.
Around 800 existing residential aged care providers, and those entering the market, will benefit from reduced red tape and the freedom to expand and improve services.
New incentive for GPs to improve primary care
- General Practice in Aged Care Incentive – $112 million over 4 years.
The new General Practice in Aged Care Incentive (GPACI) will be established to give aged care residents better access to high quality, continuous and person-centred primary care.
From August 2024, the new incentive will include:
- Additional payments to GP and primary care clinics for regular appointments, health assessments and care planning with aged care residents.
- A voluntary patient registration scheme (MyMedicare) where aged care residents can elect their preferred primary care provider to enable greater continuity of care.
- Funding for Primary Health Networks to work with aged care homes to match each resident – or potential resident – with a regular primary care provider, and to commission GPs to provide care in areas of workforce shortage.
Aged care residents will benefit from more integrated care delivered by their chosen primary care provider, including regular visits to their aged care home and annual care planning. Their GPs can address health concerns as they arise, reducing risk of avoidable hospitalisations.
Younger People in Residential Aged Care
- Strengthen entry requirements – $2.4 million over 3 years.
- Targeted education and training packages – $3 million over 2 years.
From 1 January 2025, no person under the aged of 65 will live in residential aged care, apart from exceptional circumstances. Through collaboration across the disability, aged care, health and housing sectors, the department will:
- strengthened entry requirements to ensure all age-appropriate long term care options are explored first
- deliver targeted education and training packages for GPs, clinicians and others, including people that support and influence the decision making of younger, on age-appropriate alternatives.
The aged care system is designed to support the needs of older people, so it is important that younger people who are living in, or are at risk of entering, residential aged care have access to age-appropriate accommodation.
Meeting the 2025 target will benefit younger people with high care needs who are living in, or at risk of entering residential aged care (whether or not they are eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme), as well as their families, carers, clinicians and the service providers who support them.