The aged care sector has faced many challenges in recent times from the Royal Commission into Aged Care to COVID-19 outbreaks at healthcare facilities. This is particularly so for medical and healthcare professionals working on the front line who are supporting the ongoing needs of their patients.
In light of some proposed reforms in Western Australian for Retirement Villages, there are a combination of quality, safety and care priorities that need to be considered.
Retirement Villages Law Reforms
The WA State Government is consulting on possible reforms to the retirement villages in stages, over a period of 18 months. Consultation began with the release of a consultation paper (“CRIS 1”) in August 2019. This was followed by the release of the second consultation paper (“CRIS 2”).
We recommend that the retirement village industry familiarise themselves with CRIS 1 and CRIS 2, and monitor the release of further papers.
CRIS 1 is focused on:
- improving consumers’ understanding of the retirement village product;
- how the product is advertised and promoted; and
- how the pricing structure is understood.
CRIS 2 considered operator obligations to retirement village communities that arise both during residence and on departure. It covered matters such as:
- timeline for payment of exit entitlements;
- resident approval of operating budgets, reserve funds and capital works;
- refurbishment obligations;
- the definition of an ‘administering body’, and
- new operator and resident conduct obligations.
All retirement village owners and administering bodies in WA should have a view on the issues being raised in this consultation. The issues are numerous and warrant considered responses from the sector. Any present ‘downtime’ can be put to good use in preparation for the next round of consultation.
What you need to know about- Changes to Home Care Pricing
The Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Improved Home Care Payment Administration No. 1) Bill 2020 (“Bill”) was introduced to Parliament on 27 Feb 2020.
Once passed, the Bill will change the way in which home care subsidies are paid to approved providers: Subsidies will go from being paid in advance (as is currently the case) to being paid in arrears.
According to the Explanatory Memorandum for the Bill, the current pool of unspent home care funds is around $750 million, with an average of $7,000 unspent funds per care recipient. The Bill is the Government’s response to this issue.
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