Submission to IHACPA on the towards an aged care pricing framework consultation paper

This submission is COTA Australia’s response to the Consultation Paper by the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority (IHACPA) on the Pricing Framework for Australian Aged Care Services.

The Pricing Framework will be a key aged care policy document and IHACPA’s approach to aged care costing and pricing advice to Government has significant implications for consumers of aged care.

COTA Australia encourages IHACPA to take into serious consideration outcomes for consumers in the development of their approach and the principles guiding pricing advice. Engagement and consultation with consumers about all types of aged care pricing, not just client contributions, should be a core component of the IHACPA approach.  Importantly, our submission emphasises that the intent, purpose and context of aged care services and the needs of aged care consumers varies considerably from hospitals and that whilst clinical needs and outcomes in aged care are vitally important, the funding measures to ensure a good quality of life are equally as important.

Understanding that there is variability in the quality of care between providers and the need for providers to meet minimum standards, COTA Australia supports the use of a ‘normative’ or ‘best practice’ pricing approach so that prices are set at a level that enables the required care standards to be met.  We also argue that there should be strong consumer input and engagement processes regarding any adjustment to recommended prices.

COTA Australia recommends the priorities for future development of the pricing framework should include:

  • The inclusion of a fair and equitable price for hotel costs
  • The inclusion of all costs including additional services, extra services, and hotel costs
  • Home care pricing advice
  • Residential Respite Costing study
  • Provision for the needs of older people with disability and the pricing framework relationship with the NDIS
  • The publishing of an annual pricing report