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Grant Thornton responds to Aged Care Taskforce’s Final Report

The Aged Care Taskforce’s (ACTF) final report has been released, with a clear focus on improving sustainability of the sector and ensuring fairness for both its workforce and those in care.  

The report agrees with the absolute necessity for change to meet the emerging demand from an ageing population, including the need for further funding, while noting the ‘boomer generation’ is generally wealthier than its predecessors.

The final report described twelve funding principles which fall into the categories of: supporting older people as they age; equitable and sustainable funding; quality innovation; and transparency. These principles offer high level guidance for how recommendations and government actions can be realised.

Darrell Price, National Head of Health & Aged Care at Grant Thornton said, “The final report should be commended. In a relatively short timeframe, many key issues, particularly around financial sustainability, have been evaluated by the ACTF.”

“However, with a system as complex as aged care, the impact of overlooking other critical factors can significantly impact the future trajectory of the industry. The report in its current iteration does not explore how the proposed adjustments to the current metrics will play out on the future. It is therefore important that we continue to challenge, test, measure and change to ensure a viable aged care sector,” continued Darrell Price.

The key measures included in the final report that impact the financial viability and realisation of the aged care sector include:

  • the removal of RADs after 2035;
  • the introduction of ’retentions‘ from RADS;
  • the ability to accumulate and deduct certain fees form RADs;
  • separating and separately pricing RADs and DAPs;
  • increasing the threshold for room pricing approval and introducing indexation;
  • changing the Support at Home arrangements to incorporate a ’fee for service‘ model, while keeping block funding in thin markets;
  • co-payments from consumers for accommodation, daily living costs, and some services in the home; and
  • increasing the transparency of services delivered in the home.

Further details are provided in the 23 recommendations that accompany the principles and the report concludes with discussion points to help clarify the recommendations.  

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