2022 Federal Elections: What is happening to the Aged Care reforms?
Written by Lauranne Beernaert, Sector Support Coordinator
Aged Care has been a core topic in the Federal Election campaign. As the Australian Labor Party (ALP) has been elected to lead the nation, it is unclear how this change of Government will impact the timelines and implementation of the new Support at Home program, due to start in July 2023.
Main Aged Care policy measures of the ALP
|Aged Care wages will rise|
The new prime minister had committed to funding the outcome of the Fair Work Commission for a 25% wage increase.
What is next?
We mentioned it in our previous e-bulletin, a decision was made in March 2022 to defer the Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response No. 2) Bill 2021 (Bill No. 2) due to the elections. Read more about this decision in this article by HelloCare.
For Bill No. 2 to proceed, it will have to be reintroduced and pass both houses for it to become law. It is unclear how the new Government will proceed in relation to this Bill and the above proposed policy changes. There are many possible scenarios: it may be amended to incorporate the changes, the current Bill may remain the same and the new policies introduced at a later stage, or Bill No. 2 may be discarded altogether (unlikely).
More information about the legislative process and implications in this article:
Current timelines for finalising the program and implementation:
Source: Extracted from Department of Health’s webinar on Support at Home (8 March 2022).
While there may be delays in the finalisation and implementation of Support at Home, we should take this opportunity to take a step back and take stock of our organisation’s readiness for these future changes:
- Start conversations with your Board and Leadership team (if you have not done it yet). What does Support at Home mean for your organisation? Are we going to transition to this new model or shall we explore alternative models?
- Review your IT systems and overall processes: there will be an increased focus on data in Support at Home. Data about clients, client outcomes, staff, governing bodies, and of course the introduction of the Point of Delivery Payment Platform. Are your IT systems and information gathering processes ready for it? Read this interesting article by HelloCare that explores the digital transformation journey of a service provider.
- Take full advantage of the various tools and resources that the Sector has developed. For example, the Aged Care Workforce Industry Council (ACWIC) will release a Workforce Planning Tool shortly, or consider joining the Governing for Reform program which includes a practical toolkit for Boards, etc.
- Continue to engage in Consultation Activities by the Department of Health. As discussed during our last CEO Round Table of Aged Care organisations, the volume of changes can be underestimated, which is why it is useful to engage early with the pilot/consultations to remain well-informed. Most up to date Consultation Calendar is here (as of 18 May 2022).
- Make sure you register to your Sector Support e-bulletin, we are working on our next Work Plan and are developing several new resources on Support at Home that we are very excited to share with you soon! Stay tuned.