If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we don’t blame you. Below is a summary of what has happened since 1 January 2019, and what you need to do to ensure your facilities and/or services remain compliant with any new legislation, standards and principles.
|What has been introduced?||What does this mean for me as a provider?|
|Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018||The Act established the ACQS Commission, with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 repealing a number of principles, including the Quality Agency Principles 2013.
Key changes introduced under the Act include:
Accreditation and re-accreditation
Quality review for home care services
Review audits for residential services
|Aged Care Quality Standards |
Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Single Quality Framework Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Instrument 2019
|The Aged Care Quality Standards came into effect on 1 July 2019, and are a single set of Standards that apply to all aged care services including residential care, home care, flexible care and CHSP services.
The new Standards focus on quality outcomes for consumers rather than provider processes, and are intended to make it easier for consumers and their families to understand what they can expect from a service.
Additionally, by replacing the four previous sets of Standards, providers who work across multiple services will have a single set of Standards across all services.
The Amendment Instrument amended the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 to provide consequential amendments that gave effect to the Standards on 1 July 2019, and transitional rules for the implementation of the Standards from 1 July 2019.
Providers of residential and home services must have a written plan for continuous improvement that explains how they will meet their obligations in relation to the service and the Standards from 1 July 2019.
The Commission's Rules incorporate a new definition of how providers are to implement a plan for continuous improvement, which incorporates a strong link to the self-assessment process.
|Charter of Aged Care Rights||The Charter came into effect on 1 July 2019, and combines the four previous Charters relating to the rights of aged care recipients into one single Charter.
Providers must give consumers a copy of the new Charter signed by the provider, and must assist the consumer to understand and subsequently sign the new Charter by:
|Aged Care Quality Standards - minimising restraints||The Standards were introduced on 15 May 2019 and require providers to ensure that:
The Quality of Care Amendment (Minimising the Use of Restraints) Principles 2019 (Cth), together with the Standards, highlight the importance for providers to have:
|Voluntary Assisted Dying ('VAD')||The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic) came into effect on 19 June 2019, and allows people to legally request to die. To be eligible a person must satisfy very strict eligibility criteria.
Providers must ensure they have contemplated the implications under the VAD Act for their service including:
|National Aged Care Quality Indicator Program||The Program requires providers to submit quarterly data to the Department on pressure sores, use of physical restraint, and unplanned weight loss from 1 July 2019.
The Quality Indicator data is intended to give consumers transparent, comparable information about quality in aged care, albeit for limited indicators.
The first data collection period is from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, with data due to the Department by 21 October 2019.
Providers should have systems in place to monitor these indicators and to ensure they comply with the data cut-off dates. The Department and the ACQS Commission have authority to investigate, and to take regulatory action where there is non-compliance with the data cut off dates.
|Comparability of Home Care Pricing Information Principles 2019||The Pricing Information Principles came into effect on 1 July 2019, and require all home care providers to publish their pricing information in a new standardised Home Care Pricing Schedule on the My Aged Care website.
Home care providers will be required to undertake the following for new clients from 1 July 2019, and for existing clients before 1 July 2020:
The Department will be actively monitoring provider compliance with these new requirements, and it is essential that providers ensure their policies and procedures are updated to meet these new legislative provisions.
If have any questions regarding the legislative changes, or would like assistance in updating your policies, please contact Sabine Phillips on (03) 9252 7720, or Tamie Duncan-Bible on (03) 9252 2575.
Sabine Phillips, Partner
Tamie Duncan-Bible, Senior Associate
Abigail Gedge, Paralegal