Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck)
The purpose of the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (New Commissioner Functions) Bill 2019 (the Bill) is to transfer additional aged care regulatory functions of the Secretary of the Department of Health to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner (Commissioner). This reform completes the two-year agenda to strengthen and enhance aged care regulation to protect and assure the quality of care provided to consumers of Australian Government funded aged care. It delivers on the intention as set out in the objects of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 (Quality and Safety Commission Act).
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Commission) will be the primary point of contact for providers and consumers in relation to quality of care and regulation. The provisions of this Bill will provide the Commission with the range of regulatory functions and powers required to oversee the provision of care by approved providers, from their entry to their exit (if required) from the regulatory system. Centralising these regulatory functions and powers within a single regulator will address the fragmentation and silos identified in the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes.
The Commission will approve providers for the delivery of residential aged care services, home care services and flexible care services. The Commission will be able to undertake compliance and enforcement actions, including monitoring the compliance of approved providers and imposing sanctions where approved providers do not meet their aged care responsibilities. Amendments in the Bill streamline the process for the Commissioner to impose sanctions on an approved provider that is not compliant with its responsibilities. The Commission will administer the responsibility of approved providers to make compulsory reports of assaults.
These additional functions build on the Commission's existing functions and powers relating to complaints resolution and the accreditation, quality review and monitoring of aged care services under the Quality and Safety Commission Act and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules. This ensures that the Commission can fulfil the object of the Quality and Safety Commission Act to protect and enhance the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of aged care consumers; promote confidence and trust in the provision of aged care; and promote engagement with aged care consumers about the quality of care and services.
Financial Impact Statement
This Bill has no financial impact.