Guiding you through the aged care reforms

Over the next few years, we’re going to see lots of positive changes in the way age care is delivered in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

We’ve put together a short video that will explain each of the reforms and what it means for you.

The Royal Commission identified the need for age care reforms that placed older Australians receiving support and services at the centre of their care, to ensure that the system remains relevant and responsive to their changing needs over time.

The 5 categories of aged care reforms

Quality and Safety

To improve consumer understanding of the quality and safety of care of individual residential care homes, Star Ratings are being introduced.

Star Ratings provide information about quality of care in residential aged care services through an overall Quality Rating of five stars.

What do the stars mean?
Aged care homes receive Star Ratings between one and five stars.

★ – Significant improvement needed.
★★ – Improvement needed.
★★★ – An ‘acceptable’ quality of care.
★★★★ – A ‘good’ quality of care.
★★★★★ – An ‘excellent’ quality of care.

The sub-categories below contribute to the overall Quality Rating based on preferences of older Australians, residential aged care providers and expert opinion:

  • Residents’ Experience
  • Compliance
  • Staffing
  • Quality Measures

Star Ratings will help older Australians and their families make an informed choice about care. Star Ratings will be published on the ‘Find a Provider’ section of the My Aged Care website from December 2022.

Quality Standards
New quality standards have also been introduced for residential care and home care providers.

The National Aged Care Quality Indicators help residential and home care providers to measure and monitor their performance against the quality standards, ensuring providers focus on achieving quality care outcomes for aged care recipients. They describe what people can expect from their provider, and the actions their provider will take to support them to live a quality life they deserve.

The Aged Care Commission regularly assess provider performance against the Quality Standards.


Residential Care
A new funding model called the Australian National Age Care Classification, or AN-ACC, has been introduced, replacing the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI).

Each resident in residential aged care receives Government funding based on their assessed care needs. This can range anywhere from $200 a day up to $350 per day depending on care need.

The AN-ACC price includes additional funding to increase average care minutes to 200 minutes, including 40 minutes with a registered nurse.

Home Care
This year an additional 40,000 home care packages have been released by the Commonwealth meaning that more Australians will qualify to receive support and services to live at home for longer.


In order to improve access to aged care support that remains responsive to the changing needs of older Australians, a new ‘Support at Home Program’ has been introduced.

Using a single assessment tool, the new program will provide independently assessed support plans to older Australians based on their aged care needs and personal circumstances.

This means that people are more likely to remain living safely and independently in the comfort of their own homes for longer.


A workforce that is continually upskilled is critical to ensure the very best of care. That’s why the reforms are supporting and growing an improved, skilled workforce through the Home Care Workforce Plan.

At Southern Cross Care (WA) we are focused on the attraction, recruitment, retention and ongoing development of a highly skilled workforce that provides the very best of care.


Governance of all providers is being strengthened through new legislation and standards keeping all providers accountable to the same high standards that older people should expect.

See Timeline

Star ratings

Assessment categories

The star ratings are all about supporting older Australians and their families to make an informed choice about their care. They are based on four assessment categories and provide a rating of a provider’s:

1. Consumer Experience

20% of residents in every residential aged care home have been surveyed to give a rating on the overall client experience of the home.

2. Service Compliance with Accreditation

Care and services of residential aged care homes are then assessed by an independent assessor from the Aged Care Quality Commission according to the Aged Care Safety and Quality Indicators.

3. Care Minutes

Care minutes are assessed by measuring an aged care providers ability to provide an average of 200 minutes of nursing from a registered nurse to each resident per day.

Care minutes are reported by the residential aged care home each quarter and assessed.

4. Quality Indicator Program

The mandatory Quality Indicator Program measures an aged care provider’s ability to deliver quality and safe care to its residents.

The program requires providers to report on a set of quality indicators every three months. This can provide useful information to consumers on the delivery of quality aged care.

New quality indicators

From 1 April 2023 it will include the following new quality indicators:

  • Activities of daily living: Percentage of care recipients who experienced a decline in activities of daily living.
  • Incontinence care: Percentage of care recipients who experienced incontinence associated dermatitis.
  • Hospitalisation: Percentage of care recipients who had one or more emergency department presentations.
  • Workforce: Percentage of staff turnover.
  • Consumer experience: Percentage of care recipients who report ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ experience of the service.
  • Quality of life: Percentage of care recipients who report ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ quality of life.

How are the star ratings calculated?

An aged care provider’s total score of the four assessment categories is used to determine their Star Rating.

We’ve put together a short video that will explain the Star Ratings and what it means for you.

The Star Ratings

Home care reforms

About the Home Care Reform Packages Program

We know how important it is for older people to receive quality care and support to live independently in their own home for as long as possible.

That’s why reforms to the Home Care Packages Program are so important.

The Australian Government is working with providers to implement the full suite of Home Care reforms. However, one of the biggest changes this year is to the way providers charge for supports and services. This came into effect on 1 January 2023.

These changes include, capping how much a provider can charge for care and package management, getting rid of exit fees and charging separately for costs associated with third party service providers.

Operational manual

The updated version of the Home Care Packages Program Operational Manual outlines the care and services that can and can’t be included in a Home Care Package and gives a clear explanation of those inclusions and exclusions. What this will mean for Home Care clients is that some care or services provided before 1 January 2023 may no longer be provided.

A copy of the Provider Manual can be found here.

A new program and funding model in development

Following consultation with older Australians and their families and carers, the aged care sector and other community stakeholders, a new program and funding model for in-home aged care will be delivered from July 2025. You can view the timeline here,

The discussion paper is available here and you can watch our short explainer video below.



Home care reforms

National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program

The National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program) is an important initiative designed to improve the quality of care provided to older Australians living in residential aged care facilities.

Quality Indicator ratings contribute to 15% of a home’s overall Star Rating.

From 1 April 2023, six new quality indicators will be introduced. This means providers will need to report on 11 crucial areas of care every quarter.  These include:

New Indicators
– Activities of daily life
– Incontinence care
– Hospitalisation
– Workforce
– Quality of life
– Consumer experience

Existing Indicators
– Pressure injuries
– Falls and major injuries
– Physical restraints
– Medication management
– Unplanned weight loss

One of the key benefits of the QI Program is that it provides a consistent set of measures for all aged care providers. This means that residents and families can compare the performance of different facilities and make informed decisions about the care they receive.

At Southern Cross Care (WA) we are committed to providing residents with high-quality, person-centred care that meets their individual needs and preferences. We will be regularly reporting on our performance against the Quality Indicators and using the information to inform our continuous improvement.

You can learn more about the QI Program by visiting the <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care National Aged Care website</a> or by contacting <a href=””></a>

Quality Indicator results from SCC (WA)’s homes can be viewed on My Aged Care.

The 8 Quality Standards

Standard 1: Consumer dignity and choice
I am treated with dignity and respect and can maintain my identity. I can make informed choices about my care and services and live the life I choose.

Standard 2: Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
I am a partner in ongoing assessment and planning that helps me get the care and services I need for my health and wellbeing.

Standard 3: Personal care and clinical care
I get personal care, clinical care, or both personal care and clinical care, that is safe and right for me.

Standard 4: Services and supports for daily living
I get the services and supports for daily living that are important for my health and wellbeing and that enable me to do the things I want to do.

Standard 5: Organisation’s service environment
I feel I belong, and I am safe and comfortable in the organisation’s service environment.

Standard 6: Feedback and complaints
I feel safe and am encouraged and supported to give feedback and make complaints. I am engaged in processes to address my feedback and complaints, and appropriate action is taken.

Standard 7: Human resources
I get quality care and services when I need them from people who are knowledgeable, capable and caring.

Standard 8: Organisational Governance
I am confident the organisation is well run. I can partner in improving the delivery of care and services.

The Aged Care Quality Standards

Looking for more information?

If you would like more information, please get in contact via our dedicated reforms email

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