Aged Care Sector Committee - Communiqué (20 November 2014)

Page last updated: 05 February 2015

The Aged Care Sector Committee met at Parliament House, Canberra on Thursday, 20 November 2014.

The Minister for Social Services, the Hon Kevin Andrews, attended part of the meeting to discuss with the Committee the work of the South Australian Innovation Hub – a group of organisations working closely with Government as part of the deregulation agenda to boost productivity and promote innovation in aged care. Minister Andrews advised members that the aim of the Hub trial was to improve the focus on providing high quality care by decreasing provider administrative burden through more targeted and proportionate regulation.

Later in the afternoon the Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, attended the meeting accompanied by the Minister for Human Services, the Hon Marise Payne and the Secretary of the Department of Human Services, Ms Kathryn Campbell. The meeting discussed DHS’s implementation of the new aged care payment system and means testing arrangements  and the issues that had been experienced by some providers and consumers.

The Committee discussed a number of other issues including: usage of My Aged Care by consumers and providers; uptake of the Higher Accommodation Supplement; the Audit of Regulation; and the work being undertaken to support transition to the 1 July 2015 changes.  Members also discussed the next steps for initiating strategic conversations with the sector to get a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities created by the Statement of Principles, once they had been approved by Government for broader release.

The Chair of the Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA), Ms Lynda O’Grady provided the meeting with an overview on progress in implementing the recommendations of the Report on Collecting Financial Information from Providers.

During the meeting Professor Peter Shergold announced that he was resigning from his position as Chair of the Committee.  Both Minister Andrews and Assistant Minister Fifield took the opportunity to thank Professor Shergold for his leadership of the Committee and his contribution to the aged care changes, and to congratulate him on his new role as Chairman of Opal Aged Care.

The Committee will next convene in March 2015.