PC’s brave new world for aged care

The PC hopes its plan for aged care will deliver more chioce, more competition and fewer complexities in aged care.

By Tim Dixon

The highly anticipated draft report from the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the care of older Australians picks up on the major reform proposals in recent years.

In the report, the commission acknowledges the “weaknesses” in the current system outlined in the 2004 Hogan Review and the 2009 report from the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission.

It criticises the difficulties faced by consumers seeking access care and services, the “complex, overlapping and costly regulations” and the financial distortions that plague aged care today.

The report’s authors say there was a consistent call for greater choice and flexibility among the 487 submissions they received.

“While the visions varied, they also had common themes, including that the focus should be on wellbeing, that services should promote independence and that people should be able to make their own life choices, even if it means they accept higher levels of risk,” the draft report said.

Framed in the language of older consumers, the report envisions a simpler, more cohesive aged care system that is easier to access.

However these changes will come at a cost to consumers who will be expected to contribute more to the cost of their care and accommodation, subject to means testing.

For providers, the commission’s report sets forth the blueprint for a competitive marketplace, calling for the abolition of the current planning and allocations process.

“This opening up of supply and creation of a responsive and competitive market, will require providers to change their business models and will test the management skills of some,” the report said.

The commission has outlined a five-year implementation plan that would be driven by an Aged Care Implementation Taskforce.

Click here to read more about the funding model proposed by the Productivity Commission.

Click here to read more about the regulatory change proposed by the Productivity Commission.

Click here to read more about the changes to assessment and care structures proposed by the Productivity Commission.

Click here to read the full draft report.

Tags: caring-for-older-australians, choice, competition, draft-report, productivity-commission,

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