A new star-rating feature has been launched on My Aged Care to show a residential aged care facility’s level of regulatory compliance.
The Service Compliance Rating, which launched on 1 July, is part of the Government’s response to the recommendations from the Carnell-Paterson review of regulatory processes.
There are already calls from provider peak Leading Age Services Australia for the system to be expanded include other measures.
Each aged care facility is rated from one to four to reflect how well they meet the aged care quality standards with four stars indicating full compliance.
One star means the facility is sanctioned or has been served a notice to agree due to inadequate or unsafe performance, while a two-star rating indicates the facility has an active non-compliance notice and requires significant improvement.
Three stars means the facility needs some improvements but does not have a notice of non-compliance.
Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck said the ratings were live and that a formal announcement would follow in coming weeks.
“The new Service Compliance Ratings provide an easy and effective way for older Australians and theirfamilies to consider and compare the quality of care provided by government-subsidised residential aged care services, and to support informed decision making,” Mr Colbeck told Australian Ageing Agenda.
“The ratings for aged care homes are derived from results against the new Aged Care Quality Standards, current non-compliance notices and current sanctions and notices to agree,” Mr Colbeck said.
Good but modest start
LASA CEO Sean Rooney welcomed the ratings system but said it needed to be broadened to reflect more than compliance.
“This is an important first step that improves the accessibility of compliance ratings,” Mr Rooney told AAA.
“However, there needs to be extensive work going forward, to broaden the quality indicators and ensure compliance ratings evolve into more holistic indicators that will help people choose the service that best meets their needs,” Mr Rooney said.
This system only focuses on regulatory compliance rather than being a comprehensive star-rating system like the ones used for hotels, he said.
“Providers are focused on delivering quality care and this system should clearly reflect these broader efforts, not just whether they are complying with the regulations,” Mr Rooney said.
Mr Rooney would like to see the collection of more data to inform and ensure comparisons between facilities and providers are fair and accurate.
“In the future, following the royal commission, LASA hopes to see a much more rigorous and comprehensive set of indicators for all aged care services, so that older people have the best possible information to make the best possible choices about their care.”