Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
The My Aged Care website and contact centre is the gateway through which Australians can learn about and access government-funded aged care services. The My Aged Care ‘Find a Provider’ tool enables older Australians to search for a provider based on a range of criteria, including whether the provider specialises in providing care for people from 9 different Special Needs Groups (as defined in aged care legislation), such as people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
In 2019, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety heard that the specialisation claims in the Find a Provider tool were not always reliable, and subsequently recommended the that government develop an independent process for verifying provider specialisations.
Pre-empting this recommendation, in 2020, the department engaged AHA to develop a draft Specialisation Verification Framework to ensure the accuracy of specialisation claims. The draft Framework set out proposed specialisation criteria for each Special Needs Group, along with the evidence needed to support each criterion and options for verifying this evidence.
In April 2022, the department engaged AHA to finalise and operationalise the Framework. This work has involved:
The specialisation verification process, which launched in June 2022, will provide older Australians and their families with confidence that aged care providers claiming to specialise in caring for people from Special Needs Groups are equipped to meet the unique care needs of these groups.
Specialisation verification aims to ensure that older Australians with diverse backgrounds and life experiences can access more reliable information when choosing their care providers.