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Consultations underway on quality indicators, additional fees

The health department is seeking aged care stakeholder input on changes to the quality indicator and additional services programs in residential aged care.

The Department of Health has enlisted PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to help develop new quality indicators for falls and fractures and medication management for the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program.

They are calling on aged care providers, consumers and their representatives, experts and peak bodies to complete an online survey about the two new quality indicators.

The survey is also seeking feedback on the existing indicators, pressure injuries, use of physical restraint and unplanned weight loss.

The project is also seeking interest from residential aged care services to pilot the new indicators most likely in the first quarter of 2020.

Participation in the pilot will provide services with an opportunity to trial the proposed measures and shape the future program.

The online survey is open until 5 December 2019. Access it here.

Contact for more information or to register interest in the pilot.

Additional service fee arrangements

The department has launched a consultation paper on proposed measures to improve clarity around additional service fees charged in residential aged care homes.

Aged care providers can charge an additional fee for care and services over and above what they are required to supply under aged care legislation by agreement with a resident.

Typical examples of single or bundles services include pay TV, hairdressing and alcohol, and access to an onsite pool, gym or movie theatre.

However, there is an identified lack of clarity and transparency for both providers and residents about additional service fees.

The department is seeking feedback to proposed changes to provide greater certainty, transparency, consumer choice and protection including:

  • publishing of additional service fees by providers
  • restrictions on low means residents agreeing to pay additional service fees
  • time limits for additional service fee agreements
  • review requirements for additional service fees.

The consultation is seeking written submissions by 17 December 2019.

Access the consultaiton paper Additional service fees in residential aged care from here.

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