Ninety per cent of services earn 3 stars or higher in the new rating system, designed to provide consumers with greater transparency around standards of care.
- 1 star = significant improvement needed
- 2 stars = improvement needed
- 3 stars = acceptable quality of care
- 4 stars = suggest a good quality of care
- 5 stars = highlight an excellent quality of care
The publication of star ratings for residential aged care homes is an important milestone for aged care sector reform in obtaining greater transparency of services provided, says Tom Symondson, CEO of Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA).
“A Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommendation, the star ratings system means that consumers will be able to make an informed choice when deciding on an aged care service for their loved ones,” Mr Symondson said.
“The ratings are equally important for aged care providers and the system, however, every effort must be made to ensure the information used to decide the ratings is both fair and accurate and that every effort is made to help consumers understand what the ratings tell us about providers.
“Ninety per cent of providers have received a rating of three stars or above which shows that services are providing everything they are funded by the government to provide for older Australians, at a good level of quality. They have achieved this despite extraordinary funding and workforce challenges.
Star Ratings are based on four sub-categories:
- Compliance – based on non-compliance decisions made by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission reported daily.
- Residents’ Experience – at least 10% of older Australians living in residential aged care homes are interviewed face-to-face about their overall experience at their residential aged care home by a third-party vendor annually.
- Staffing minutes – derived from reporting under the Quarterly Financial Report and Annual Financial Report, case-mix adjusted through the Australian National Aged Care Classification and reported quarterly.
- Quality Measures – data on five existing quality indicators (pressure injuries, physical restraint, unplanned weight loss, falls and major injury, and medication management) reported quarterly.
“The scores for minutes of care are also reduced because they are taken from earlier in the year, at a time when the sector was neither funded for nor required to meet, the 200 minutes of care requirement.
“We expect to see ratings increase in the new year as we approach October 2023 when that requirement begins and providers will be working as hard as they can in the meantime to recruit the necessary workers. This will be challenging, especially in rural areas where shortages are at their worst.
“Star ratings give aged care providers an opportunity to review their services and to see where there is room for improvement. We will be working hard with our members to help them improve their star ratings over time so that we can continue to meet the expectations of the Australian community,” Mr Symondson added.
Star Ratings will be available for all residential aged care services on the My Aged Care website later in December 2022.