The deadline for aged care stakeholders to register interest to attend the Hobart or Darwin forums on the impact of new approaches to allocating residential places has been extended until the end of the month.

The 2018-19 Federal Budget gave its in-principle support to putting residential aged care places in the hands of consumers as recommended in the Tune Review and committed $300,000 to exploring the potential impact of doing so (read more here).

The Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation at the University of Technology Sydney, aged care advisory firm StewartBrown and the Department of Health are undertaking the impact analysis of proposed alternatives to the current method of allocating places to providers through the Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR).

The group is seeking feedback via an online survey on the discussion paper setting out two alternative models (see below) and running consultation forums on the proposals in capital cities in August and September.

The period to register interest to participate in a forum closed on 15 July 2019 but has been extended in Hobart and Darwin.

Around 320 people have applied to attend forums to date, but the response rate has been relatively low for Hobart and Darwin, a departmental spokesperson for the project told Australian Ageing Agenda.

“We are keen to ensure a diverse range of stakeholders have an opportunity to contribute,” the spokesperson said.

Proposed alternatives

The 31-page discussion paper and accompanying one-page overview proposes two alternative models, however, only the second model assigns the places to consumers instead of providers.

Under this alternative, approved providers can deliver residential aged care to as many eligible consumers who have been assigned places as they viably can. They can deliver residential aged care anywhere in Australian and will no longer need to obtain the places through ACAR.

The other model proposes to improve the management of ACAR and places. Providers will still need to apply for new places via ACAR, and, according to the proposal, successful applicants will be allocated places with:

  • reduced locational controls on places
  • requirement to reduce non-operational places
  • improved management of places.

The discussion paper is seeking feedback on:

  • whether the two proposed models are the most appropriate and if other model variants should be considered
  • the potential benefits, costs and risks of the models and interdependencies with other programs or reforms in aged care
  • significant implementation and transition considerations.

The survey closes Friday 13 September 2019 and is accessible here.

Responses to the online survey and a summary of key themes identified during the forums will be published following the consultation period, according to the consultation hub.

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