Provider spending made public

The information aims to help consumers compare and contrast facilities.

In a bid to boost transparency, the federal government has published what aged care homes spend on services and staffing to inform older Australians and their families.

Uploaded onto the My Aged Care website and located through the Find a Provider tool, the information includes how much individual homes spend on care and nursing, food and catering, accommodation and maintenance, and cleaning and laundry.

Anika Wells

“We recognise that the majority of aged care providers are working to deliver high quality and safe care, but we have to shine a light on those who aren’t and take action,” said Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells.

Called Dollars to Care and launched Wednesday evening, the new measure reveals the total amount spent on a resident per day, compares it to the sector average and reveals where the money went.

Source: My Aged Care

The data also breaks down provider expenditure on care and nursing per resident per day.

Source: My Aged Care

Also available, information showing which allied health staff the home employs such as dietitians, podiatrists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, or lifestyle and recreation workers.

Source: My Aged Care

As well, data includes resident survey results – which reveal whether the facility is well run or whether its staff are kind and caring.

Source: My Aged Care

Related resources are also on show revealing a facility’s staffing policy, meal policy, alcohol policy, and floor plans.

The added data accompanies information already made available showing how homes measure up with the star ratings, quality standards, and compliance requirements.

The data dump – made public for the first time – responds to a key recommendation of the aged care royal commission, which highlighted the need for enhanced access to information about providers’ operations and finances.

Craig Gear

Speaking to Australian Ageing Agenda, Craig Gear – chief executive officer of the Older Person’s Advocacy Network – welcomed any measure that brings greater transparency to the aged care sector and ensures older people can make more informed choices about their aged care.  

“We also believe providers must be held to account for the government funding they receive to ensure the money goes towards the care and support of older people,” he said. “However, the efficacy of this new initiative is entirely dependent on the credibility, understandability and accessibility of the financial data that is available.”

OPAN will drill down on the detail of Dollars to Care in a webinar on 26 March.

Patricia Sparrow

COTA Australia CEO Patricia Sparrow told AAA older Australians and their families should be able to clearly see where the money they spend on aged care services is going, “and be given assurance that their money is being spent wisely on delivering quality services – transparency is vital for accountability and trust and something that has been lacking for too long.” 

She added: “We also need complete transparency when it comes to government funding for the aged care sector. Every Australian deserves to know how our money is being used to provide the quality services our older Australians need and deserve.”

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Tags: anika wells, Dollar to Care, my aged care,

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