Combining and transferring residential aged care places

You can apply to transfer allocated places between providers. Adjacent aged care homes can also combine services to save administration work and costs.

Reasons to transfer allocated places

You can transfer allocated places for several reasons, including if:

  • the size of your aged care home changes
  • you sell or buy an aged care home.

How to transfer allocated places

You must tell us if you are:

  • transferring places to another provider
  • receiving places from another provider.

Only approved providers can receive transferred places, and they must continue to meet their responsibilities.

You must submit a Notice to Transfer Aged Care Places to Another Provider to the Department of Health office in your state or territory no later than:

  • 60 days before the proposed transfer date if the transfer receiver is an approved provider
  • 90 days before the proposed transfer date if the transfer receiver is not yet an approved provider.

If you are receiving transferred places, you will also need to submit a copy of your latest audited financial statement.

Fees and funding when transferring places

Each Residential Aged Care Service (RACS) ID is considered an individual service under the Aged Care Act 1997 and in the aged care payment system. This means there can be implications for resident fees and funding if you move residents to a service with a different RACS ID.

Avoid moving residents where possible

To avoid reassessment of fees and minimise disruption for you and your residents, when buying (or selling) a service you should:

  • maintain a resident’s current location and RACS ID.
  • not discharge a resident from their service if they have not been moved. This ensures they will not need a new means assessment or a new room price. Resident fees and accommodation costs will stay the same.
  • vary resident and accommodation agreements by mutual consent to note the change in provider.

Moving residents to a new service

If ownership of a service changes, moving residents to a service with a different RACS ID may be unavoidable. If your resident needs to move permanently to a new service, you will need to:

  • discharge the resident from their old service and admit them to the new service
  • enter into a new residential and accommodation agreement with the resident
  • negotiate a new room price with the resident. The resident’s ability to pay will be determined by a new means assessment undertaken on their date of entry to the new service.

When residents move to a service with a different RACS ID, a new means assessment is requested by Services Australia. This request cannot be overridden or reversed.

Combining residential aged care services

Two or more adjacent residential aged care services operated by 1 approved provider can apply to combine their services. 

Combined services are considered a variation of an existing service, not a new service.

You can combine adjacent services for several reasons, including:

  • to save administration work and costs
  • if the restructure of a corporate entity consolidates multiple approved providers into one approved provider.

How to combine services

Adjacent services operated by the same approved provider can be combined into one RACS ID. This will be the existing RACS ID of one of the services.

To combine residential care services, you need to meet the requirements outlined in the Guide to Combining Aged Care Services. For full details see Division 17 of the Aged Care Act 1997 and Part 8 of the Allocation Principles 2014.

If you plan to combine services, talk to your local Department of Health state or territory office first.

Fees and funding when combining services

Follow the guide when combining services to ensure you don’t change your RACS ID or trigger a new means assessment for existing residents.  

Existing residents are not discharged from your service during a combining process. This means that:

  • you continue to receive subsidies and supplements on their behalf (including any applicable hardship supplement)
  • they continue to pay their agreed residential care fees to you
  • they do not need new resident or accommodation agreements
  • they do not require a new means assessment.


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