Aged care providers are seeking clarity on who will bear the cost of quality reviews in home care under the new quality agency in a consumer directed care (CDC) system.

At the Tri-State conference in Albury on Monday, Australian Aged Care Quality Agency acting CEO Chris Falvey was unable to answer a question from LASA Victoria’s general manager policy, community living and rural health Judy Gregurke about who would meet the cost of home care reviews.

Mr Falvey said that under the new agency, quality reviews for home care would take place at the approved provider’s premises or a “site where home care is provided”, but said he could not answer questions on who would fund the process.

Speaking to Australian Ageing Agenda after the session, LASA Victoria president Ingrid Williams said that quality reviews for packaged care currently sat with the Department of Social Services (DSS) and there was no associated cost for providers.

Regardless of where the review took place, Ms Williams said care workers would have to be rostered extra hours to be present during the review, and transport would need to be paid for if clients were brought to the provider’s site.

She asked whether this cost was going to be covered by government.

Ms Williams said the critical difference was that in CDC, every dollar of additional cost to the organisation meant a dollar less of care for the consumer.

While the quality review process for community care has been fully-funded by government, residential providers have paid, and will continue to pay, to be a part of the accreditation scheme.

A DSS spokesperson has confirmed that at the time of the transition there would be no fees charged for quality reviews of home care services but the legislation allowed the agency to charge for manuals, other documents and seminars.

AAA has sought further comment from DSS in relation to organisational costs arising from the participation in home reviews.

Risk indicators

Elsewhere in his presentation Mr Falvey said that the former Accreditation Agency had identified that poor change management was a common factor among providers which had failed to meet standards.

This included changes in management and IT systems, key personnel, business strategy, ownership, and processes that were not supported by appropriate training and a sudden or gradual change in resident numbers or mix.

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