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Comparing the aged care market: what information do consumers want?

A new project is exploring the information consumers need to choose an aged care provider in a client-driven market.

The COTA Australia project is inviting older Australians, their families and carers, and industry service providers to take part in an online survey to share their views on the topic. Focus groups are also underway throughout Australia.

COTA Australia chief executive Ian Yates said access to reliable, easy-to-understand information was necessary to help older Australians compare services and choose a provider that meets their needs.

“COTA Australia has long been an advocate of the need for consumers to have access to information that’s meaningful, answers the questions we need to know and is accessible and simple to navigate.”

The project is seeking views on the range of quality of life and care quality indicators that consumers find meaningful and will assist consumers in their decision-making.

From 27 February, home care packages have been allocated to consumers to allow them to more easily direct their care subsidy to the provider of their choice.

However, for many consumers this choice can be overwhelming, especially in the absence of quality information about providers.

The Federal Government has encouraged providers to use the My Aged Care gateway to publish information on the average percentage of packaged funds available for direct service, language, religion and cultural specialities and specialised service offerings. Providers can also list pricing schedule information and applicable surcharges.

However, as Community Care Review has previously reported, the majority of providers have chosen not to disclose non-mandatory pricing information on My Aged Care.

The online survey closes 31 December. To take part in the survey click here.

To register for workshops in Sydney, Hobart and Adelaide, click here.

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