Sunday, 21 April 2024
    Aged care providers struggle with debt
    14
    Aug
    Aged Care

    Aged care providers struggle with debt

    One large provider, Calvary Health Care, runs 62 residential aged care homes around the country and has submitted claims for about $55 million in COVID-19 grants but has only been paid $5 million, ABC News reports.

    The sector's peak body, the Aged and Community Care Providers Association, said the delays had created a "perfect storm" for care homes already running at a loss.

    "We do still have providers who are waiting, in some cases on many millions of dollars," chief executive Tom Symondson said.

    "We shouldn't be a sector that if we are owed money from a COVID grants program, we are pushed to the wall."

    Catholic Health Australia, which represents about 15 per cent of the nation's aged care market, said the delays could lead to more care homes having to close.

    "They've spent the money, the money has gone out the door and they are carrying these huge debts at a time when more than half of aged care providers are running at a loss," director of aged care Jason Kara said.

    "Aged care providers cannot continue to be left out of pocket."

    He says some of the outstanding claims relate to outbreaks as far back as 2021 but have been bogged down by bureaucracy and quibbling over small details.

    "Claims worth hundreds of thousands of dollars are held up for months by the government agency querying a $100 COVID test expenditure," Mr Kara said.

    The grants were announced at the height of the pandemic and allowed aged care providers to claim back all additional costs incurred during a COVID outbreak.

    The total amount of grant money available was increased from $100 million to just over a billion dollars in the November budget.

    FULL STORY

    Aged care providers carrying estimated half a billion dollars of debt as they await promised COVID-19 grants (ABC News)

    PHOTO

    A spokesperson for Anika Wells says the government cannot put a figure on how much money is owed.(Supplied)