Aged Care Association Australia (ACAA) has publicly condemned the Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot for her “constant criticism of aged care providers”.

The association’s CEO, Rod Young expressed the industry’s frustrations in a letter to the Minister which was also sent to The Australian newspaper and the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

The letter was partly triggered by a ministerial release from last week which reported that 37 per cent of Resident Classification Scale (RCS) claims between July 2007 and March this year needed to be downgraded.

Mr Young said the RCS validation process was “hugely subjective” and created large amounts of red tape for providers.

He also criticised the Minister for a lack of constructive dialogue with the industry.

“Hopefully there will be a message [from this letter] that the industry is becoming very frustrated with this constant negativity about what we do,” Mr Young told Australian Ageing Agenda.

“It would be nice to actually have some policy discussions with this administration some time soon.”

In a statement, Mrs Elliot defended the funding review.

“The reviews of funding claims are responsible financial measures and are about accountability,” she said.

“It is about making sure, frail and older Australians in nursing homes are getting the care taxpayers are paying for; good aged care providers have nothing to worry about from this process,” she added.

The Minister also indicated that she has written a response to ACAA, in which she acknowledged that the majority of aged care providers are providing top quality care.

The CEO of Aged and Community Services Australia, Greg Mundy, declined to comment on the matter.

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