The government will review whether it is necessary to tighten registration requirements for home care providers following allegations of price-gouging, non-compliance with standards and pushy sales techniques.

Ken Wyatt

Aged care minister Ken Wyatt said the government will “weed out” unscrupulous providers and warned that some could expect sanctions.

He was commenting on reports by the ABC that 14 home care providers had been served non-compliance notices since July and three had been sanctioned.

“I have no sympathy for those that have been sanctioned because they know what’s expected of them and we will weed out those people,” Mr Wyatt told the 7.30 Report on Tuesday.

“I think we will be seeing more who will be sanctioned.”

Price gouging of senior Australians was totally unacceptable, he said, and if the regulatory system wasn’t working the government tighten it.

“If there’s a problem with the way we are doing it then we will make changes.”

COTA CEO Ian Yates told the 7.30 Report that a lack of transparency had allowed some unscrupulous operators to get away with bad behaviour and the near-doubling of home care businesses to 900 since 2016 had resulted in more “aggressive” tactics by some operators.

“We have seen some door-to-door sales and have referred those the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission,” he said.

LASA’s Sean Rooney said the home care market was “dynamic” but people with complaints should make these known to providers and relevant bodies, including the new Aged Care Quality Commission which began operations on January 2.

The government this week announced that the rollout of 10,000 new home care packages had commenced and would be completed by July. However Mr Wyatt told the ABC COTA’s proposed three-month limit on HCP wait times was not achievable in the immediate future.

“In the long term governments will strive to achieve that,” he said.

The Home Care Packages Program Data Report for the first quarter from July 1 to September 30, released released in November, showed 126,732 people were waiting for a package that matched their needs.

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  1. It would be a great shame if a person who had been in the queue for a level 3/4 HCP for 18 months was assigned a place ahead of someone who had been in the queue for 12 months longer like my brother (850 days so far). Queue jumping is in-Australian, isn’t it?
    How many queues are there anyway? One for people assigned high priority because they have advocates. And one for everyone else? What are the mechanics of queue-based allocation when two factors are in play viz length of time in the queue and “priority”. What is the algorithm? Very opaque.

  2. With the open market of Care Providers it sadly has opened the door to the good and bad. There is a lot of organisations and people within the industry working very hard to go above and beyond to provide quality services . We are at a time when demand is exceeding what is becoming a growing challenge with provision of “Quality not Volume Services”.as our ageing population continues to grow. Staffing is another huge challenge for providers. As the Royal Commission Into Aged Care is here , please remember there are some amazing people working very hard. I have seen both sides of the fence, the not so good and the exceptional ! The exceptional have nothing to be concerned about the not so need to be sanctioned . We need a National Framework.

  3. It’s the old story, not what you know but who you know.
    Queue jumping in the Aged Care provisions is happening.
    Staffing is a position of responsibility towards everyone and truth and honesty must exist if we are to live harmoniously.

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