Summer 23/24 Update
Since the Royal Commission, integratedliving has implemented important industry reforms, with more underway.
Tracy Foster answers important questions about reforms as integratedliving forges ahead with more enhancements in 2024.
What is your role at integratedliving, Tracy?
I am the Senior Project Manager for the Aged Care Reforms project. My role is to oversee the series of projects integratedliving have underway and planned, that will ensure we meet all the new and future aged care reforms.
What has integratedliving done to implement the changes that came from the Aged Care Royal Commission?
integratedliving initiated a program of work to analyse the report and recommendations, as well as plan and introduce the relevant reforms into our processes at the required times. Since then, we’ve systematically implemented all the required reforms to date, and commenced planning those reforms still to come.
What changes have been implemented so far?
So far, we have implemented a number of changes relating to Home Care providers, including:
- Home Care Package Management fee capping
- Aged Care Code of Conduct
- Reporting via the Serious Incident Response Scheme
- New governance requirements, including Board Statement of Compliance reporting.
We’ve also done considerable work to understand the changes that will be introduced when the new Aged Care Quality Standards are released. This is currently set for 1 July 2024. This project alone will oversee lots of different changes as the new standards introduce requirements related to governance, diversity, clinical care, worker education and privacy.
What reforms are still to come?
There are many Home Care reforms the government is still working on. Some of those we expect in 2024 include:
- A new rights-based Aged Care Act
- Introduction of a standardized aged-care worker registration check
- Planning for the establishment of a Client Advisory Committee
- Introduction of the strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards
- Establishment of a Quality Care Advisory Body.
Did the changes to Home Care Package pricing, and the pay rise for support workers, come from the Royal Commission?
The Aged Care Royal Commission made 148 recommendations, including some related to pricing and improved pay for support workers.
Pricing – It made a number of recommendations about how fees are managed, including transparency and capping some fees. All providers, including integratedliving, must periodically review fees to ensure they remain able to continue offering high-quality services by qualified and experienced staff.
Support worker pay increases – Although the Royal Commission made a recommendation to improve remuneration for aged care workers, the actual decision to increase aged-care worker wages was made by the Fair Work Commission.
How will my care be affected by the reforms?
There are six objectives of the Aged Care Reforms:
- Respect, care and dignity
- Real choice and control
- Safe and high-quality care
- Independence through care at home
- Easy, consistent and equitable access
- Appropriately skilled care.
Through the introduction of key reforms, clients should find it easier to understand the high-quality care available to them and receive safe and effective care and services from a highly skilled workforce. You might not notice every change immediately, but be assured your team at integratedliving are working very hard to ensure we achieve these objectives for you.
What is happening with Commonwealth Home Support Programme services and how will changes impact clients?
The Commonwealth Government was planning to introduce a single in-home funding model in 2024. This would replace the various individual Home Care Package, CHSP and STRC programs. The government announced a delay to this change to 2025, to give further time for consultation and design. In the meantime, we will continue to deliver services through each program without any impact to clients. When we have more information to share with you, we will.
Where can people get more information about the Aged Care reforms?
Your best resource is the Commonwealth Government’s Aged Care Engagement Hub at https://agedcareengagement.health.gov.au/
We will continue to update you on important reform news at integratedliving throughout the year.
More articles to read next
2023 – CEO’s Year in Review
integratedliving’s CEO Catherine Daley puts the year in review