Feedback sought on new regulatory model

The Department of Health and Aged Care has launched an eight-week consultation on a new model for regulating aged care.

The Department of Health and Aged Care has launched an eight-week consultation on a new model for regulating aged care that aims to improve quality and safety.

Building on the previous consultation and proposal reported on here, the department released a new consultation paper on Wednesday. It will also hold a webinar on 9 May and a series of workshops in June to further inform on the proposed model.

The 76-page document, A new model for regulating Aged Care, Consultation Paper No.2: Details of the proposed new model, provides information about the new model, and how it will manage risks to older people relating to safety and quality of aged care services.

The new model will support the new Aged Care Act, in-home aged care reforms and other recommendations from the aged care royal commission. It’s due to commence with the new Act. Its four foundations build an approach that is rights-based; person-centred; risk-proportionate; and focused on continuous-improvement.

The consultation seeks views on:

  • how the new model supports providers to deliver high quality care and manage risks to older people receiving care
  • the proposed new provider registration categories and associated obligations (see below)
  • the transition arrangements to the new model.
The safeguards and regulatory tools that support rhe new model Source: A new model for regulating Aged Care, Consultation Paper No.2: Details of the proposed new model

The model includes changes to how providers enter the sector, the obligations that a provider must meet, strengthened monitoring and enforcement powers for the aged care regulator and better complaints and feedback mechanisms, and information for older people.

A new registration scheme

Key to the changes are new controls through compulsory registration to enhance complaints and feedback management, regulatory oversight, assessments, and other intelligence. The proposal includes:

  • set registration periods and the requirement to re-register when the period ends
  • provider suitability, viability, capability, and propriety tested at entry and regular intervals
  • non-corporations such as sole traders and partnerships are eligible to register to deliver home or community services to help increase choice for older people and improve sector sustainability
  • the registration model will organise services into registration categories based on similar risk and characteristics, and allow providers to register into one or more categories depending on the services they intend to provide – the six proposed registration categories are:
    • home and community services
    • assistive technology and home moodifications
    • social support
    • clinical and specialised supports
    • home or community-based respite
    • residential care.

Provider obligations

Under the proposal, current provider responsibilities will be known as provider obligations. They will be applied across registration categories and include common, category and provider-specific conditions. Changes here include:

  • providers will be expected to adhere to a statement of rights and principles outlined in the new Act with relevant practices in place while specific registration categories will also need to demonstrate a commitment to ongoing business improvement and capability to deliver high quality care
  • providers delivering services in specific registration categories will be subject to strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards
The draft strengthened quality standards Source: A new model for regulating Aged Care, Consultation Paper No.2: Details of the proposed new model
  • audit against the revised modular standards will be graded to incentivise excellence and innovation, replacing the current pass or fail approach and enabling more transparency about provider performance
  • providers will need to meet financial and prudential standards applicable to the services they deliver
  • all providers will be monitored with risk-based monitoring informed by data and intelligence that signals the need for additional monitoring
  • a provider disrespecting older people’s rights or delivering substandard care will come to the attention of the regulator through monitoring, oversight and complaints
  • complaints and feedback mechanisms will be enhanced to provide safe, accessible, and culturally appropriate pathways to report and improve accountability, outcomes, transparency and public confidence
  • new powers will protect complainants from reprisals
  • sector oversight and regulatory intelligence will be improved via broader and more flexible monitoring, investigation and enforcement powers to facilitate a risk-proportionate and proactive approach when responding to non-compliance and risks of harm.

The paper also discusses the potential for more significant penalties, including criminal offences, and a compensation pathway in certain circumstances – which, for example, may apply where registered providers fail to meet their obligations on an ongoing or serious manner, and causes harm to older people.

To find out more, access the paper and register for the consultation’s activities visit the Aged Care Engagement Hub – regulatory model page.

The consultation ends on 23 June 2023.

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Tags: Aged Care Quality Standards, aged-care-regulation, quality,

2 thoughts on “Feedback sought on new regulatory model

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  2. It’s crucial to seek feedback on the new regulatory model for aged care. This collaborative approach ensures that the system best serves our elderly population. Kudos to Australian Ageing Agenda for fostering transparency and improvement in aged care services. #AgedCareRegulations

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