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.