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What is money being spent on in Australia’s aged care sector?

Have you tried out the ‘Dollars to Care’ tool yet?

<p>The government has explained its spending habits in Australia’s aged care sector. [Source: Shutterstock]</p>

The government has explained its spending habits in Australia’s aged care sector. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • There are three mainstream types of care: residential aged care, home support and home care
  • There are also several types of flexible care available: transition care, short-term restorative care, the multi-purpose services program, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs community nursing and Veterans’ Home Care services
  • By June 30, 2022, almost 213,000 people using home care who were aged 65 and over — this is more than triple the 69,500 people aged 65 and over who were accessing home care services on June 30, 2017

 

Older Australians and their families can now see how much aged care services are spending on their care, food, wages and more as the government continues to improve the sector.

The government’s ‘Dollars to Care’ measure will hold providers to account for how they spend taxpayer money and ultimately help people make informed decisions about their care with data available through My Aged Care.

The measure responds to the recommendations made in the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which highlighted the need for better public access to information about providers’ finances and operations.

Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells said the government needed to proactively ensure regulatory standards.

“We recognise the majority of aged care providers are working to deliver high quality and safe care but we have to shine a light on those who aren’t and take action,” she said.

“The publication of aged care providers’ finances and operations delivers on the government’s election commitment to increase transparency and accountability around what aged care providers are spending money on.

The information will show that more than half a provider’s expenses are spent on care for residents across the sector.

This builds on the government’s existing initiatives to increase transparency and help older people make informed choices, including Star Ratings for residential aged care homes.

“We are committed to developing a fair and transparent aged care system for older people and their families and carers,” Minister Wells said.

“I have asked the Secretary of the Department of Health and Aged Care to refer aged care providers that are doing the wrong thing to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and the Fair Work Ombudsmen.”

The program, which launched on the My Aged Care website on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, allows members of the public to see how fares from homes differ throughout the sector — levelling the playing field for people looking at key metrics.

It will also show where the 15 percent wage increase for nurses, as per the Fair Work Conditions decision. The new ‘Dollars to Care’ measure comes after a report by aged care accountancy firm StewartBrown that found financial problems continued to plague the sector, with the latest data showing the sector was facing a loss of more than $850 million.

 

What do you think of the new online tool? Let the team at Talking Aged Care know and subscribe to the newsletter for more information, news and industry updates.

 

Related content:

Can I continue to manage my money while in aged care?

When is the best time to start planning for your retirement?
Understanding aged care costs

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