The Albanese Labor Government introduced legislation today to deliver our commitments to fix the crisis in aged care, and usher in a new funding model for residential aged care.
The Aged Care Amendment (Implementing Care Reform) Bill 2022 will require a qualified registered nurse to be on site in every residential aged care home 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ensuring older Australians living in residential aged care receive immediate care when needed.
The former Morrison Government ignored the Royal Commission’s recommendation that nursing homes should have a RN on site 24/7.
We are also delivering on our election commitment to improve transparency in the aged care system, with the Bill introducing measures to monitor the costs associated with aged care, placing greater responsibility on providers to be transparent and fair.
This will see the publication of more information about providers’ operations including what they are spending money on.
The legislation also delivers on our election commitment to stop the rorting of Home Care fees, by placing a cap on how much can be charged in administration and management fees.
This means home care users can be confident their money is going directly to care – not the bottom line of providers.
Also introduced today, the Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Bill 2022 contains nine measures to implement urgent reforms to the aged care system, and responds to 17 recommendations of the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
The Royal Commission Response Bill provides the legislative framework for the new AN-ACC funding model for residential aged care homes, which will replace the outdated Aged Care Funding Instrument in October 2022.
This framework will offer more equitable funding, better matched to providers’ costs in delivering the care residents need.
It also extends the functions of the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority, which will lead to better price-setting for aged care homes.
Other measures enshrine transparency and accountability of approved providers, and improve quality of care and safety for older Australians receiving aged care services.
This includes the Star Ratings System, which will see the Department of Health and Aged Care publish a comparison rating for all residential aged care services by the end of 2022; an extension of the Serious Incident Response Scheme to all in home care providers from 1 December 2022, meaning increased protection for older Australians from preventable incidents, abuse and neglect; and a new Code of Conduct for approved providers, their workforce and governing persons.
Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese
“We are wasting no time getting on with the job with fixing the aged care system.
“The introduction of this legislation is the first step towards delivering new funding, more staff and better support to the sector, while improving transparency and accountability.
“We are using this first sitting week of the 47th Parliament to take important first steps towards fixing aged care and protecting vulnerable Australians, while addressing the challenges in our economy. “
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler
“We’re delivering on our commitment to putting nurses back into nursing homes and improve transparency in aged care.
“ Every person with a loved one living in residential aged care expects, is the peace of mind in knowing aged care residents have access to clinical care from a qualified, registered nurse when they need it, 24 hours a day, every day.”
“This legislation delivers on the Government’s major reform agenda to protect the safety, dignity and wellbeing of every older Australian accessing aged care services.”
Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells
“This Implementing Care Reform Bill will put nurses back into nursing homes; it will put a stop to high administration and management fees for home care, which means more dollars go to care and support; and it will improve integrity and accountability for residential aged care homes.”
“We have introduced urgent legislation for a new funding model that will increase funding to aged care providers that was left languishing by the former Government because they couldn’t work with the Senate.”
“This legislation demonstrates our commitment to making public what aged care providers are spending their money on, ensuring a fair and transparent system for our older Australians and their families and carers.”
“24/7 registered nurses in residential aged care is a significant and much needed change to ensure high quality care for older Australians. This will be supported by the initiatives we have in place to grow and boost the skills of aged care nurses.”
“Publishing Star Rating for residential aged care homes will help people meaningfully compare services to make the right choice for themselves or their loved ones”