The documents released under Freedom of Information clearly show that the Government has been honest with the Australian public about the true state of aged care finances.
The document highlighted in the report in The Australian today was an internal analysis undertaken by the Department of Health. It was not provided to Ministers or their offices until after the FOI decision was finalised.
No amount of selective mis-quoting from the Hon Julie Collins MP can hide the fact that the documents clearly show that total funding for residential aged care has increased and total funding for aged care has increased by $1 Billion a year.
We have also overseen increases every year in average care payments for aged care residents. Average payments per resident have risen from $135.75 per day in 2012-13 to $172.23 per day in 2017-18, an average annual increase of 4.9%.
We made changes to the Aged Care Funding Instrument from 1 July 2016 to address rampant rises in complex care claims by some providers.
The indexation changes were temporary. Full indexation will occur from July 2019.
The vast majority of aged care providers who had reductions in average revenue per resident in 2016-17 and 2017-18 had previously had increases. Many of these providers were the ones driving the unsustainable growth through their claiming practices.
In 2012 when Labor was confronted with exactly the same rampant claims, they slowed growth to the tune of $1.2 billion.
If the Hon Julie Collins MP cannot remember back that far she should consult the Hon Mark Butler MP. In April 2012 then Minister Mark Butler said: “Look, there are some providers who have been unusually claiming levels of money that we don't think they're entitled to. And they may be unhappy that the jig is up.”