Aged care is an expanding industry that currently serves over one million people and attracts $17.8 billion of government funding. As a result, it has more than 2000 providers with over 350,000 workers.
There are plenty of opportunities for new providers to join the sector. However, you need to conform to certain requirements and have to follow specific guidelines.
Gaining Approval for an Aged Care Business
You can, in theory at least, provide aged care without going through any formalities. If you do this, however, you will find it difficult to connect with people needing care and will not benefit from any government funding so it’s almost essential you go through the proper channels.
My Aged Care is a government agency that provides a portal where those needing care can find suitable carers. All reputable carers will therefore register on this portal to market their services but, before they can do this, they need to be approved. This approval is granted by the Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission based on information supplied by businesses who want to deliver services under the Aged Care Act 1997.
- prove that you understand your responsibilities under the Aged Care Act and have systems to meet them
- show that you can deliver care that conforms to the principles of the Act
- be a corporation rather than a sole trader
- have experience in providing aged care
- employ key personnel who are not disqualified individuals and must provide police checks for each of them
- comply with financial obligations and have sound records and practices to be able to do so.
My Aged Care application process
As an unapproved provider, you need to complete a new applicant form and give the requested information. This includes choosing the type of service you wish to provide, which may be home care, residential care or flexible care that covers different kinds. If you subsequently wish to extend the services you provide, you must complete an existing approved provider form and demonstrate your ability to do so.
Successful and Failed Applications
A decision on your application will normally be made within ninety days but may be delayed if more information is requested. If the application is denied, you can re-apply on a new application form and address the failings that prevented approval. Alternatively, you can request a reconsideration with reasons and possibly new evidence. PROVIDERplus can consult you through the My Aged Care assessment process. The original decision may then be confirmed, varied or replaced with a new decision, again within a ninety-day period. If you fail again, your only recourse is to seek a review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
What happens when I’m approved?
If the application is approved, you will be informed of what to do next. This will include entering your details on the My Aged Care portal so that you can then be considered by people needing carers.
The application process can be long and complex but the rewards at the end are worth the effort if you succeed. One of our aims at PROVIDERplus is to help you get through the process as quickly and easily as possible. By completing the forms correctly and supplying all necessary evidence, you’re more likely to be able to do that and become an aged care provider much more quickly and reap the benefits that entails.