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Aged Care Law Blog

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Federal Court dismisses bid to charge Asset Replacement Fee

Regis had commenced the proceedings seeking a declaration from the Court that the Asset Replacement Charge (ARC) may be lawfully imposed without contravening the Aged Care Act or its associated regulatory instruments. All individuals entering Regis’ facilities from 1 May 2016 have been asked to sign an agreement, which includes an agreement to pay the ARC. Regis ...

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Notifiable Data Breach scheme commences

From 22 February 2018, the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme will apply to all agencies and organisations with existing personal information security obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act). All private sector health and aged care organisations are affected by the scheme requiring them to notify the Information Commissioner and any individuals likely to be at risk of serious harm in the event of an eligible data breach....

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Coroner refers Nursing Home to OACQC

In August 2012 Mr R was admitted to a high care nursing home facility, where he required assistance with all daily living tasks and was unable to mobilise independently. 31 days after his admission he was noted to have pressure sores on his heels. In November 2012, further pressure sores were observed on his hip. On 6 February 2013, the wounds were noted to be necrotic. On 15 February 2013, it was recorded that Mr R had lost 5....

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Move to mandate staffing ratios

The Aged Care Amendment (Ratio of Skilled Staff to Care Recipients) Bill 2017 is seeking “to enhance the level of care provided by aged care facilities nation-wide” according to Senator Derryn Hinch’s Second Reading Speech. The Bill proposes that a minimum adequate and safe ratio of appropriately skilled staff to care recipients be mandated in the Quality of Care principles, based ...

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Employer Successfully Rebuts Aged Care Worker’s Bullying Claim

The employee made multiple bullying allegations covering a period of approximately 3 years. Amongst those allegations she claimed that: the first day she met the manager that the manager yelled and screamed at her in the office;, she was detained against her will when she was asked to complete paperwork regarding a car accident at the end of her shift;, the manager’s concerns about timekeeping ...

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Consumer Protection announces review of retirement village contracts

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard advised that the investigation will examine various contracts offered by retirement village operators to see if they breach the "unfair contract terms" provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). One focus of the investigation will be the 'deferred management fees' or 'deferred residency fees' often payable when a resident vacates their unit....

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Elder Abuse under Review

The Report, released on 14 June 2017, follows an inquiry held to identify and model best-practice legal frameworks to promote and support older people and protect against misuse or advantage taken of formal or informal supporter roles. Elder abuse is defined as a ‘single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person’....

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Premature Deaths of Nursing Home Residents

The study published in the recent Medical Journal of Australia examined nursing home residents whose deaths had been reported to state coroners from 2001-2013. The study found that the incidence of premature (death which occurred sooner than necessary) and preventable deaths has increased over the past decade. It was identified that 15.2% of deaths occurred due to external causes and of those deaths: The three highest proportioned causes were falls (81....

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New Privacy Act Data Breach Obligations Update

Eligible Data Breaches The Act sets up a scheme for notification of ‘eligible data breaches’. An eligible data breach happens if: there is unauthorised access to, unauthorised disclosure of, or loss of, personal information held by an entity; and, the access, disclosure or loss is likely to result in serious harm to any of the individuals to whom the information relates., Examples ...

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WA HACC Transition to Commonwealth

A new arrangement for home and community care and specialist disability services will come into effect from 1 July 2018, with the Commonwealth Government assuming full funding, policy and operational responsibility for these services, bringing Western Australia into line with services provided in other states. At present, the existing Western Australian HACC Programs are jointly funded Commonwealth-state ...

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Unsigned Resident Agreements: what does this mean for aged care providers?

Aged Care Act requirements for Resident Agreements The Aged Care Act 1997 (Act) says a provider must give all prospective residents or their representatives an accommodation/resident agreement (Agreement) prior to entering care. The Agreement must set out that the person must choose to pay the accommodation payment or accommodation contribution by daily payments (DAP), refundable deposit (RAD), or a combination of both within 28 days of entry....

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Aged Care Law Reforms - Home Care Packages and Exit Fees

Reforms to Aged Care legislation taking effect from 27 February 2017 will see home care packages moving with the consumer if they change home care providers. These reforms are part of the first stage of the Commonwealth Government’s reforms to the home care system. Under the current system, home care places are allocated to individual providers to deliver services in a particular location or region....

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