Govt to replace ageing health and aged care system

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 20 October, 2016

Govt to replace ageing health and aged care system

The federal government will replace the 30-year-old health and aged care payments system to deliver more reliable and accurate health, aged care and veterans' payments.

The government has launched a consultation process to identify possibilities for a replacement system, based on the requirements of health and aged care providers and other sector stakeholders.

In a joint statement, Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley and Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge said the new system will be based on existing commercial technology, indicating that a tender process could be on the way.

The consultation will be finalised in January next year, and any tender is likely to follow shortly after.

“The new system will support the Australian Government continuing to own, operate and deliver Medicare, PBS, aged care and related veterans payments into the future,” the statement reads.

“The project will be led by the Department of Health and supported by the Departments of Human Services and Veterans’ Affairs, and the Digital Transformation Office.”

Aged care peak body Leading Age Services Australia has welcomed the “long overdue” planned payment system overhaul. CEO Sean Rooney said the Department of Human Services payment system has been a key point of frustration for the sector for years.

“The existing system is inefficient and unreliable, and clearly not up to the task. It has caused substantial delays and problems for providers, often leaving them out of pocket for months at a time, whilst also creating confusion and anxiety for older Australians receiving care and services,” he said.

“While it is encouraging that the government has committed to build a new payment system, it needs to invest now in dealing with the problems industry and consumers are still experiencing while we wait to transition to this new system.”

Image courtesy of Paul Benson under CC

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