Jul 05, 2019

Bupa Eden won’t refund deposits when accreditation is revoked


When Bupa Eden’s accreditation is revoked on 16 August, the organisation plans to continue caring for residents. 

But with its accreditation revoked, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission no longer has the authority to assess the facility against the quality standards, so the Department of Health has told HelloCare it will step in and appoint “an appropriately qualified person” to monitor the facility.

A “bizarre” situation, consumers concerned

Paul Versteege, policy manager with the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association, has also raised questions about whether refundable accommodation deposits (RADs) will have to be returned to residents when Bupa Eden’s accreditation is revoked.

“Consumers of BUPA aged care throughout Australia are anxious to find out if you will refund RADs to Eden residents,” he wrote in an email to Bupa.

“It’s really a very bizarre and worrying situation,” Mr Versteege told HelloCare.

A Bupa spokesperson told HelloCare the organisation does not have an obligation to return refundable accommodation deposits as it intends to continue caring for residents.

“There is no requirement to return the balance of refundable accommodation deposits if accreditation is revoked,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health told HelloCare refundable accommodation deposits only have to be returned to residents in the situation that a facility closes.

“In the event that a service closes, the approved provider would be responsible for refunding RADs in accordance with their responsibilities under the Act.”

If a resident chooses to leave a facility, RADs must also be refunded.

Commonwealth subsidies end when accreditation is revoked

Aged care facilities that have their accreditation revoked remain approved providers, and therefore can continue to operate. 

The Bupa spokesperson told HelloCare, “If accreditation at Bupa Eden is revoked, the home will lose Government funding, however Bupa would still be an approved provider and Bupa Eden would continue to provide residential care.”

The Department of Health spokesperson confirmed the facility won’t receive Commonwealth subsidies if it is no longer accredited. 

“Once a home’s accreditation is revoked or expires, the provider operating the home is no longer able to receive Commonwealth subsidy for the service.” 

The spokesperson told HelloCare it’s a “business decision of the provider as to how they continue to fund the service once accreditation has been revoked”.

“Not a quick fix” situation

Bupa Eden said it is working towards maintaining its accreditation.

“We continue delivering care to residents at Bupa Eden. 

“We will comply with all requirements from the Department of Health as we address the issues that underpin the sanction and return the home to compliance. 

“This is not a quick fix and we are committed to implementing long-lasting and effective changes,” Bupa’s spokesperson said.

Department of Health will monitor “delivery of care” once accreditation is revoked

Mr Versteege also expressed concern about how the quality of a facility’s care will be monitored after it has its accreditation revoked.

The Department of Health spokesperson told HelloCare, “The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission no longer has authority under legislation to assess a Services’ performance against quality standards once it revokes accreditation. 

“In these cases, the Department would continue to monitor the approved provider’s delivery of care and residents’ welfare by engaging an appropriately qualified person to undertake this monitoring.”

Please note: The imaged used to illustrate this article does not reflect actual people or events. Source: iStock.

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