Upward trend in max re-accreditation term

Productivity Commission report indicates 90 per cent of homes delivering a high-level of care.

An increasing number of aged care homes were re-accredited for a three-year period last financial year, according to a government report.

That’s one of the findings contained in the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2024, which focuses on the use of government-funded care and support services for older people during the 2022-23 financial year.

The annual report shows that during the period 90 per cent of the 1,598 residential homes re‑accredited that year were granted three-year accreditation status – up from 85 per cent in 2021-22. A three year re-accreditation period indicates a provider is delivering a high-level of care.

The report also shows that as of 30 June 2023, 89.9 per cent of all 2,606 re-accredited aged care homes had been granted three-year accreditation – the highest number since 30 June 2019.

For government-subsidised aged care services, 60.7 per cent of residential aged care services received a re-accreditation audit during 2022-23 – up from 26.6 per cent the previous year. At the same time, 11 per cent of home care and support services received a quality audit

The below table shows the number of residential aged care and home care and support service providers reviewed against the quality standards during 2022‑23.

Source: Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2024

Quality care

Since 1 July 2021, approved providers of residential aged care are required to report on five quality indicators:

  • pressure injuries
  • physical restraint
  • unplanned weight loss
  • falls and major injury
  • medication management.

The Productivity Commission’s report shows aged care residents were observed for pressure injuries once each quarter during 2022-23. The report shows data similar across all quarters – between 5.8 per cent and 6.5 per cent of care recipients with one or more pressure injury.

Source: Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2024

Physical restraint data varied across all quarters of the period: between 17.8 per cent and 21.1 per cent residents experienced physical restraint with between 14.3 per cent and 16.9 per cent being restrained through the use of a secure area.

Source: Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2024

During the year, 7.7 per cent of aged care residents experienced significant unplanned weight loss – a loss of 5 per cent or more when comparing current and previous quarter finishing weights – and 7.9 per cent of residents also experienced consecutive unplanned weight loss – unplanned weight loss every month over three consecutive months of the quarter. 

Source: Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2024

Data was similar across all quarters for residents who experienced a fall – between 31.2 per cent and 32.2 per cent – and also for a fall resulting in major injury – between 1.9 per cent and 2.1 per cent.

Source: Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2024

The results on medication management also showed similarities across the four quarters: between 35.5 per cent and 36.7 per cent of care recipients were prescribed nine or more medications and between 18 per cent and 18.6 per cent of aged care recipients received antipsychotics. In the table below, the blue area indicates residents who received antipsychotics for a diagnosed condition of psychosis.

Source: Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2024

From 1 April 2023, the QI program was expanded to include six new indicators:

  • activities of daily living
  • incontinence care
  • hospitalisations
  • workforce consumer experience
  • quality of life.

This QI data is expected to be included in next year’s report.

Care costs

Nationally, across the residential aged care sector, the report shows the average annualised cost per occupied bed was $85,891.The average annualised government subsidy per claim day was $77,697.

Nationally, the cost per recipient of a home care package program was $17,892. The cost per Commonwealth Home Support Program recipient was $3,631.

Complaints and serious incidents

During 2022-23 the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission received 9,198 complaints – 5,077 related to residential aged care services.

Source: Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2024

Through the Serious Incident Response Scheme, the regulatory body received 50,583 notifications. Unreasonable use of force was again the number one reported incident.

Use by different groups

The 2024 report shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continued to be under-represented nationally across all aged care service types during the period – although less so for home care packages.

Source: Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2024

Meanwhile, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds were over-represented among people accessing home care packages but under-represented in all other service types.

People receiving aged care services in rural and remote areas of the country were overrepresented among clients accessing services through CHSP but underrepresented across all other services types.

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Tags: aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander, accreditation, Aged Care Quality Standards, audits, cald, complaints, productivity-commission, quality indicators, report on government services, Serious Incident Response Scheme,

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