Our client: the Aged Care Financing Authority

Ian Holland of Hamilton Stone provided the Aged Care Financing Authority with cornerstone research, advisory and report writing services for its review of the Aged Care Bond Guarantee Scheme.

Unlike many consultants, Ian brought an open mind that, coupled with his intellectual integrity, meant that the realm of data mined and examination of the range of possible options was deeper and more rigorous than is often brought to such studies.

A valuable feature of his advisory work is his ability to identify biases in the terms of reference or clients’ communication and expectations. His unique differentiator is his capacity and professional courage to clearly articulate, with superb written and verbal communication, the full set of facts and attributes of alternatives, and in a calm and respectful way ensure the client has a complete and balanced perspective.

I have no hesitation in recommending Hamilton Stone for any consultancy where the client is seeking to challenge, analyse and improve  the body of knowledge upon which recommendations and decisions depend.
— Lynda O'Grady, Chairman, Aged Care Financing Authority

The Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) was tasked by the Minister for Health in November 2015 to examine the existing Accommodation Payment Guarantee Scheme and provide advice to Government on the effectiveness of the Scheme, and any potential alternatives.  The residential aged care sector held more than $21 billion worth of consumers' lump sum accommodation payments, so their protection is a matter of major importance to both governments and older Australians. 

What we did for ACFA

ACFA commissioned Hamilton Stone to support its project on the aged care bond guarantee scheme, through stakeholder engagement, planning, and preparing the report.  Director Ian Holland provided research and writing services. We advised on aspects of stakeholder engagement, particularly through reviewing other government guarantees of public funds, meeting with representatives of other schemes and reporting on their relevance to the aged care sector scheme.

The report, entitled The Protection of Residential Aged Care Accommodation Lump Sum Accommodation Payments, was released in May 2017.  In addition to the large funds involved, this is a challenging area of aged care policy because of widely differing views on consumer protection in the event of provider bankruptcy - not only between consumer and provider groups, but also between different peak consumer groups.

The report outlined a number of options on ways forward, which the Government is still considering. You can read more about those options and sector response on our blog here. Critical to the client was that evidence and stakeholder views were carefully and critically examined. After the project had concluded, the Chairman of the Authority felt confident our work had delivered a strong report.