aged care governance

Looking across the facilities that have current or recent non-compliance highlights there is more than the odd ‘blip’ or errant behaviour by ‘the Agency’ going on.

Creating and operating and aged care service that meets the care needs and preferences of residents and attracts and retains high calibre staff is no small task. It requires strong visionary leadership and robust governance and support systems.

In the rapidly changing aged care environment organisations need to identify and effectively respond to intrinsic and extrinsic factors that change and have a cumulative impact. Organisations invest in their governance and compliance frameworks and systems and recruit Board members with significant leadership and governance experience in a range of fields yet unexpectedly experience non-compliance and /or sanction.

The rate of non-compliance and sanctions has more than doubled in the past year. Organisations with a proud history of high quality service provision now find themselves on ‘the naughty list’. The impact is devastating for residents, staff and the organisation. The recovery period is long!

At Executive and Board level aggregated data may provide reassuring reports of …

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Identify, Adapt and Deliver

The challenge providers face is to bring all this together in a care model that aligns with their organizational values, resonates with consumers, is financially viable and meets regulatory requirements.

The transition to the Single Quality Framework in aged care with its strong focus on consumers will propel services to look at and modernise their care model. The language of how quality is described changes and the service is accountable to consumers. Adapting to this providers need to rethink their business, care and service model.


Identify your strategy and determine your organisational values. Identify how you want to relate to consumers and engage your staff. Identify your financial imperatives and your market position and potential.

Challenge what you currently do and be open to opportunity and look before you say no!


Adapt through investing in the creation of a model that articulates your values. Embark on creating a culture change that equips you for the future. Be brave and make changes.


Deliver a clearly articulated value proposition that attracts consumers and staff and creates a competitive advantage. …

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identify, adapt and deliver

The theme of this year’s ACSA Conference is Identify, Adapt and Deliver describes how Australian providers need to respond to the continually changing aged care environment.

To thrive in the consumer focused contestable market environment providers need to focus on the consumer experience and re-think their care model, service delivery and consumer engagement from the consumer perspective.

What do consumers want?

The first step is to redefine your offering from a consumer perspective.

Ideal has surveyed potential and current consumers. They want to be in a ‘safe, happy and welcoming environment’ and they want:

Quality care To maintain their independence Quality staffing.

The most valued sources of information are people who currently live or have lived in the home and information from hospital staff, discharge planners and social workers. Information directly from staff at the home and from family and friends is more important and influential than government websites or the home’s website.

When they consider a home the most important factors ranked in order are the quality of food and the dining experience, accreditation status, the range of activities …

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2018-19 acar opens

it’s that time again

This update highlights some of the elements related to the residential aged care application process. The forms are streamlined however the process is more competitive than it has ever been. The impetus is to be able to evidence need and demonstrate the compelling reasons your organisation and service is best met to serve the needs of our elder Australians. In the 2018-19 ACAR, nationally, applicants can apply for:

13,500 residential care places 775 short-term restorative care (STRC) places up to $60 million in capital grants

The indicative timeframe:

Opens 2 July 2018 Closes 11.59PM AEST 10 August 2018 Results expected April 2019

Priority, but no guarantees

The department will give priority to assessing and allocating places to suitable applications for residential care places to services located in regional, rural and remote areas. You are not however guaranteed places simply because you are located in a regional, rural or remote area.

The level to which applications are sought will now be given a category of prioritisation, from Category 1 (highest priority) down to Category 6 (lowest priority).

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ACAR to open July 2

The following provides a short summary of communication from the Department of Health regarding this years’ Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR)[1]. The 2018-19 ACAR will open on 2 July 2018 and close 10 August 2018; and approximately eight months later the results will be announced. The information below is related to residential aged care places only; more information on Short Term Restorative Care places and Capital Grants can be found on the department’s website.

Distribution and targeting information will be available on the department’s website when the ACAR opens, however in the meantime the expected residential aged care places available for allocation in each state and territory are as follows:

Allocation year NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT Total 2018-19 3,349 1,415 4,289 3,295 431 212 360 149 13,500

Please note: the department does not guarantee that the exact number of places will be allocated to each state and territory.  The final allocation of places will reflect the best use of all of the available places, based upon the applications received and outcomes of the overall …

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budget 2018: moving towards a consumer demand driven system – baby steps

The Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017 – the Tune Review, described that “there is a broad consensus shared by government and sector stakeholders that aged care requires further reform to become a more consumer-centred system. This includes orienting care and the supply of different care types around the demands of consumers, and giving consumers greater choice and control.”

Responding to this, buried on page 147 of 472 in the Federal Budget Health portfolio statement of May 2018, the Government announced that it ‘provides in-principle support for the transition of residential places to the consumer, pending a detailed analysis of the impacts of such a model.’ Reported by Rick Morton in the Australian newspaper today ‘the Government has allocated $300,000 to conduct an ‘analysis’  of the impact of unshackling residential aged care funding from providers and giving it straight to the people’.

This is a baby step in the reform process. The turbulence and disruption experienced during implementation of a consumer focused home care model and the transition of disability services to the NDIS model both provide valuable information for …

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strc results 2016 acar

Congratulations to all successful applicants in the 2016 STRC part of the Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR). Below is a short summary of places allocated.

Regional response to the 2016-17 ACAR – STRC     state/territory # of applications # of providers successful places sought places made available success rate per application success rate per place NSW 162 10 6,507 103 6.2% 1.6% VIC 110 14 3,445 116 12.7% 3.4% QLD 121 5 4,191 111 4.1% 2.6% WA 51 4 2,787 83 7.8% 3.0% SA 28 4 637 32 14.3% 5.0% TAS 17 1 240 10 5.9% 4.2% ACT 8 1 114 10 12.5% 8.8% NT 6 2 80 10 33.3% 12.5% Total 503 41 18,001 475 8.2% 2.6%


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myagedcare review

Earlier this year the department commissioned independent research to evaluate experiences and perceptions of the aged care system and My Aged Care initiative among service users (clients, carers, assessors, service providers and health professionals). The report is available at:

Although a relatively small sample the report provides interesting insight into the aged care system.

It included surveys of:

·       3,429 members of the general public aged 40+ years

·       300 Service providers; including 212 providers funded through CHSP

·       176 Aged care assessors; including 138 working for RAS under MyAgedCare

·       151 Health care professionals; including 101 GPs

and qualitative interviews

satisfaction with the aged care system

Satisfaction with the aged care system overall was clearly correlated with My Aged Care experience. Those who had contacted the Gateway in some capacity were consistently more satisfied with aged care provision than those who were carers or recipients with no experience of the new system. 72% of care recipients were satisfied with the aged care system; the higher satisfaction among care recipients appeared to be due to the lower expectations …

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evidence is king in the aged care approvals round

applying for places in the 2016-17 aged care approvals round (acar)

The ACAR 2016-17 makes 10,000 residential aged care places available nationally.

In the current 2016-17 ACAR, for the first time, places will be available at the state and territory level for residential aged care. The department has indicated for each SA3 in Australia the priority need for new places in this SA3; priority categories are segmented by need into highest, high, medium and low.

The distribution of new places across each state and territory seeks to achieve a balance in the provision of services between metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas, as well as between people needing different levels of care.

Specific geographic locations, special needs groups and / or specified issues that area focus within each state and territory have been identified taking into consideration a range of factors including:

Population projections Current operational ratios Occupancy levels Information through the consultation process

The Department will prioritise suitable applications that meet the selection criteria, based on how well they address the provision of care for:

The geographical locations, special …

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hidden and not so hidden fees in aged care

The following excerpt has been released by the Department of Health on Friday 2nd September 2016.

information for approved providers of residential aged care homes: Additional services, including ‘capital refurbishment’ type fees

The department is aware that a number of providers have charged or are proposing to charge fees for additional services, including ‘capital refurbishment fees’ or ‘asset replacement contributions’ to residents. This information has been prepared to assist providers to understand their responsibilities when charging such fees.

This information does not constitute legal advice. Approved providers should seek their own independent advice.

legislative context

The Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act) and the Aged Care (Transitional Provisions) Act 1997 (the Transitional Provisions Act) regulate the amount of fees that aged care providers can charge to residents. Relevant provisions are found in Division 52C and Division 56 of the Act and Division 58 and Division 57 of the Transitional Provisions Act.

These provisions require that fees charged for, or in connection with, residential care, or for care and services specified in the Quality of Care Principles 2014 (the Principles) cannot …

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