The Federal Government has issued the preliminary star ratings to residential aged care providers, ahead of public release.
Current results announced by the Government show that 31% of aged care facilities received a 4 or 5 star rating – which means their homes have met or exceeded expectations.
Additionally, 10% of aged care facilities have fallen short of expectations and received a 1 or 2 star rating.
The star ratings system is being introduced to assist with creating a more transparent and accountable aged care system.
Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells, said the delivery of the star ratings is a massive milestone for the sector and will result in a more transparent aged care sector for older Australians and their families.
“Star ratings provide a nationally consistent benchmark to monitor, compare and improve residential aged care services,” said Minister Wells.
“Star ratings provide Australians greater and more accessible choices regarding residential aged care.
“To achieve our shared goal of reforming aged care, providers need to embrace transparency and accountability, and not make excuses.
“We have issued providers a preview of their star rating which allows them time to prepare for their public release by talking to staff and residents, communicating with families, or developing an improvement plan.”
Most aged care facilities were sitting in the middle of the scale, with 59% of providers receiving 3 stars.
Industry peak body, Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA), has said that the release of the star ratings for residential aged care is an important milestone for the sector.
Tom Symondson, Chief Executive Officer of ACCPA, 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.
“90% 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.
He added that the scores around minutes of care are currently reduced as they were recorded at a time when the sector wasn’t funded for meeting the 200 care minutes requirement.
ACCPA expect for this rating score to increase in the new year once providers are better settled into the new funding model that began in October of this year and once the care minutes requirement comes into full effect in October 2023.
“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,” said Mr Symondson.
There was a consultation and evaluation process to inform the star ratings for each aged care facility that finished in October.
Aged care consumers of each individual provider were interviewed to inform the resident experience section of the star ratings, while compliance audits and provider reporting on quality indicators and care minutes form the rest of the rating.
In August, an industry peak boy raised concerns that the star ratings system was rushed.
The Government has not announced when these ratings will be released publicly but has committed to the public release being before the end of 2022.
Once released, these ratings will be available for consumers to see and to assist them in making aged care decisions.