All aged care approved providers should note that the Department of Social Services (“the Department”) has announced that as of 19 May 2014 all approved providers will be required to publish their aged care accommodation prices and provide detailed descriptions of key features for each type of room they offer.
This information will be published on the MyAgedCare website and must also be available on the approved provider’s website. The information must also be included in material provided to residents, their families and carers.
This is a legislative requirement under the Fees and Payments Principles 2014 and the Department anticipates that the publishing of such information will provide greater transparency and support to prospective residents; assisting them and their families to make informed choices in respect of their care options. The Department also anticipates to provide a venue through which aged care providers can promote their services.
Approved providers will be expected to publish their maximum accommodation prices from 1 July 2014 onwards as a refundable deposit, a daily payment and a combination payment. If the maximum price and relevant information for a type of room has not been listed, an approved provider will not be able to charge a resident an accommodation payment.
In addition, if an approved provider wishes to publish an accommodation price above a refundable deposit of $550,000 it will require, and need to apply for, approval from the Aged Care Pricing Commissioner prior to publication.
Healthdirect Australia will be contacting approved providers before the end of March 2014 to confirm organisations’ details, a contact person and to provide a pre-populated template which must be completed. This template is to be returned to Healthdirect Australia by the end of April 2014 in anticipation for publication of the necessary information on the MyAgedCare website on 19 May 2014. A copy of the Department’s fact sheet can be found here: http://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/03_2014/information_sheet_accommodation_payments.pdf
Fraser Barrett Baird has extensive experience in the aged care sector, particularly with assisting approved providers in dealing with the Department. If you have any questions, would like to discuss and find out more about these new requirements or simply would like assistance with your Healthdirect Australia template and/or application to the Aged Care Pricing Commissioner please call us on (03) 8689 0016.