With the 1 July 2019 deadline fast approaching, the team at Russell Kennedy has been busy updating our home care, residential care, CHSP, STRC and brokered services/contractor agreements to reflect the new Quality Standards, Charter of Rights and Pricing Schedule requirements. We have also made a number of other improvements and updates to reflect other legislative changes (eg the new modern slavery laws (NSW and Commonwealth), voluntary assisted dying legislation (Victoria) and whistleblower protections).

Some aged care providers have asked us whether they should be putting the new Charter in their agreements now (ie prior to 1 July 2019). We would caution against this, unless you also include the current Charter of Rights and Responsibilities and make it clear that the New Charter doesn’t apply until 1 July 2019.

Transition of existing clients to new requirements

Charter roll out: existing clients

We are also getting a number of queries on how/when providers roll out the new Charter with existing consumers. We generally suggest that this be done by way of a face-to-face meeting together with a brief letter which explains the impact. One thing providers may wish to seek advice on is how to ensure the “responsibilities” section of the Charter which is reflected in the current agreements can be preserved, given that they have been removed from the new Charter.

Providers have until 30 September 2019 to roll out the new Charter to existing residential care clients and until 31 December 2019 to do this for existing home care clients.

Pricing Schedule roll out

The process of rolling out the new Pricing Schedule for existing home care clients will be more complex. Providers may need to manage this according to the terms of their current home care client agreements, which may include seeking the client’s consent, following “adequate mutual consultation”. Providers have until 1 July 2020 to complete this.