LASA National Board Develops Action Plan with Minister Andrews
Friday, 15 November, 2013
LASA National Board met with Minister Kevin Andrews to discuss key issues affecting the industry.
“The meeting was positive with a commitment from the Minister’s office to meet regularly to receive industry briefings, share advice and develop practical solutions for industry to support Older Australians.” said LASA CEO Patrick Reid. “I am pleased to say that our early advocacy has been productive and we have established a co-operative approach that will result in an action plan to address LASA’s top issues.
“LASA has led 97% of the age services industry in seeking the re-allocation of the workforce supplement funding into the Conditional Adjustment Payment (CAP). We expect a response from the Minister in the New Year.” said Mr Reid.
Another issue raised by LASA was the Cash flow issues arising from Means Testing of Residential Accommodation Deposits (RAD). From June 2014 consumers who elect to fund their RAD through the sale of their home will now have the RAD amount included in the assets and means test, an important fiscal item that has not been included in the past.
“Someone of modest means will be impacted adversely; the flow-on effects are clear: a cash-flow crisis in the industry. Loss of capital will lead to fewer beds being refurbished or built and a diminution of services to a rapidly growing ageing population. LASA is calling on the Abbott Government to exclude the RAD amount from the asset and means test,” said Mr Reid.
Another area of inequality is the cap calculation for home care and residential care. Currently home care costs are averaged throughout the year (for the purposes of the funding cap). However, a consumer in a residential aged care facility must pay all of their costs up front until they reach the annual cap. This highlights a stark inequity between the treatment of the funding cap in home and residential care.
“LASA is calling on the Government to rectify this inequality that places artificial constraints on providing services while also adding unnecessary red tape to an already overly complicated and complex process,” said Mr Reid.
LASA started work with the Coalition while in opposition and is now proceeding with a concrete agenda for reducing burdensome red tape across age services.
“LASA advocates that the role of Pricing Commissioner should be delegated to the Minister with a simple reporting procedure that embeds transparency of pricing with no or minimal further administration. A stance consistent with the PC Report. “The 1997 process of Certification of funded aged care facilities has taken place. Certification is now an unnecessary and burdensome compliance measure. LASA is advocating certification be abolished and replaced with a standing declaration that a facility meets Division 38 of the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Certification Principles 1997.”
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