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Thursday, 29 October 2009
Page: 1


Senator Cormann asked the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing, upon notice, on 29 July 2009:

What is the current average daily cost of providing care to a:

(a)   patient in a hospital in each state and territory; and

(b)   resident in an aged care facility in each: (i) state and territory, and (ii) aged care planning region.


Senator Ludwig (Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary) —The Minister for Ageing has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(a)   Refer to answer to Senate question 2041.

(b)   Information on the cost of delivering residential aged care is not directly collected by the Department of Health and Ageing. However, relevant data is recorded in the general purpose financial reports that each approved provider is required to produce for each financial year in order to receive the Conditional Adjustment Payment. The following analysis is based on the 2006-07 general purpose financial reports submitted to the Department of Health and Ageing by approved providers (the de-identified data from which has been placed on the Departmental website). The expense data provided by approved providers is compared with administrative data held by the Department of Health and Ageing on the number of days of care delivered by each approved provider to derive average costs per resident per day. Because approved providers often operate more than one aged care home, often in different planning regions, it is not possible to analyse this data at the planning region level. It is possible to analyse the data at state and territory level subject to the following caveats. A small number of providers (22 out of 1174) operate aged care homes in more than one state or territory. The expenses of these providers are apportioned between the states and territories according to the number of homes they operate in each state or territory. It is evident that there is considerable variation in the interpretation of accounting standards and so total expenses have been used to determine the cost. The Department’s interpretation of the accounting data provided in the general purpose financial reports has not been verified with the accountants of aged care providers. Subject to these caveats, the table below provides a summary of the average cost of delivering residential aged care per resident per day in each state/territory for 2006-07.

2006-07

ESTIMATED AVERAGE COST

NEW SOUTH WALES

$137.43

VICTORIA

$153.76

QUEENSLAND

$147.42

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

$142.70

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

$152.42

TASMANIA

$156.84

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

$152.77

NORTHERN TERRITORY

$192.15

AUSTRALIA

$145.95

NB: The variation in average total expenses per resident across the different states/territories reflect in part the variation in the level of frailty between and across states/territories.