4th Apr 2018

The aged care centres putting profits before patients

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Aged care centres dumping patients
Ben Hocking

Aged care companies are accused of dumping residents in hospital emergency departments for basic care to maximise their profits.

A report in The Australian suggested there were many companies taking advantage of the legal grey area, to take basic medical procedures away from their centres and dump them onto the public hospital system.

According to the report, Regis Healthcare was one of the frequent abusers of the system, with one particular centre in Brisbane dumping around one patient a week into a state hospital for a minor medical procedure since the start of the year.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said the practice increased pressure on the public hospital system unnecessarily.



“I’m sick and tired of hearing about nursing homes rushing to get residents to hospital, not because they need emergency healthcare, but to get them out of the nursing home when their care-needs risk affecting the profitability of the company,” he told The Australian.

“The providers know that once an elderly patient is admitted to hospital they are unlikely to ever leave, saving the nursing home from the costs of their care.”

Regis Healthcare received almost $400 million in federal subsidies in the year to last June.

Much of this is care funding that subsidises the cost of looking after residents across a variety of domains, each measured from low, medium to high.

“We’ve heard stories of nursing homes providing just one nurse for 100 or even 200 patients,” Mr Miles said.

“There is no way one person can provide care for that many people.

“I’m told many privately run facilities don’t have a nurse on duty at night or have one nurse on call for multiple facilities. Residents who need care at night are taken to public hospital emergency departments with minor ailments that could have been treated by a nurse on-site.

“These providers are making big profits, some subsidised by taxpayers, but they are not delivering the services we expect.”

What do you think? Have you had a loved one in aged care taken to hospital for low-level healthcare? Are these companies rorting the system?

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COMMENTS

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Nan Norma
4th Apr 2018
11:12am
So which aged care home is dumping their clients in the hospital?
Rae
4th Apr 2018
11:47am
The article states Regis Healthcare. There are probably others.

One more example of private business failure to provide services paid for and paid for with hefty fees and charges and taxpayer subsidies.
Nan Norma
4th Apr 2018
11:12am
So which aged care home is dumping their clients in the hospital?
Nan Norma
4th Apr 2018
11:12am
So which aged care home is dumping their clients in the hospital?
Gerry
4th Apr 2018
11:20am
"According to the report, Regis Healthcare was one of the frequent abusers of the system"
johnp
4th Apr 2018
11:56am
I think Nan wants to know which other aged care homes are dumping their clients as well as
Regis Healthcare. I would also like to know ? Could it be most of them ?
Nan Norma
4th Apr 2018
12:27pm
Yes, I would too know which ones in Brisbane are dumping. Maybe they get better care in the hospital.
KSS
4th Apr 2018
12:34pm
Here you go Nan Norma, Regis Health Care in Brisbane. Take your pick

https://www.regis.com.au/aged-care-facilities/brisbane-qld/
TREBOR
4th Apr 2018
12:47pm
It may simply be that their health needs have reached a point where the facility cannot provide the care needed.

The trouble is that nowadays you have to watch every step of these corporate vultures and their 'standards' - and their 'owned' doctors and such who will declare an inmate beyond the ability of the facility to provide care... they then go into hospital for an indefinite sentence, and in the meantime their 'home' incurs costs without usage..... and the business lines them up for the auction chopping block and its often inflated cut under its total control, just like AVEO.*

*Australia's Venerable Exploitationist Organisation
ray from Bondi
4th Apr 2018
9:13pm
yes they probibly hope to go to get a good meal.
ray from Bondi
4th Apr 2018
9:13pm
yes they probibly hope to go to get a good meal.
TREBOR
4th Apr 2018
9:41pm
*falls about laughing* - thanks, Ray.
BrianP
4th Apr 2018
12:31pm
As always we should think about the big picture. This is another case of our country's system seriously breaking down. It affects all our lives.

Governments pass the buck for things like aged care to private companies to balance government budgets. These private companies give their own profit priority. Government does not keep control. Corruption sets in and the system fails. We all suffer and nobody wins (except for short term profits).

Question is WHEN are we going to do something about it?
Knows-a-lot
4th Apr 2018
5:12pm
This is what happens when the Lieberals are in power - infrastructure crumbles, and society decays.
TREBOR
4th Apr 2018
12:41pm
Why am I not surprised.. the moment you enter the term 'profit motive' into a service industry, you are looking at the death of it as a genuine service these days.
TREBOR
4th Apr 2018
12:48pm
.. now watch this set of parasites hand over Social Security to another set of parasites... just reminding you all... the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
Raphael
4th Apr 2018
1:37pm
Ffs Comrade
I would rather stay in a private nursing home then in a nasty filthy governennent run one - filled with incompetents and lazy workers
Triss
4th Apr 2018
3:09pm
Frightening thought, Trebor.
TREBOR
4th Apr 2018
3:38pm
S'OK, Tovarich - when your Party controlled facility decides you are no longer required, they will gulag you or simply put a bullet in the back of your head....... for the good of the Party, and you will receive State funeral as Hero of The Republic and experimental Soylent Green...

What makes you think any 'government' organisation of this kind is filed with incompetents and lazy workers? Personal experience......??
Puglet
4th Apr 2018
3:42pm
I’ve spent many months investigating the calibre of nursing homes. It doesn’t surprise me that the ones with whiz bang decor - chandeliers, carpets etc provide very poor care - poorly trained skeleton staff who are not supervised. The ratio of qualified staff to untrained carers is low. Actually some carers with basic qualifications provide brilliant care. There is widespread rorting/stealing of resident’s medications, dressings etc. of course some private ones are exceptional but there is no guarantee. Some of the state-run ones are a bit tatty - no expensive carpets and peeling off doors etc but the care provided by dedicated nurses is exceptional. If you are looking for a quality home it’s important to arrive unannounced at 7am. If the place stinks of stale urine you can bet the residents have been left in wet beds all night and probably have bed sores. It occurs in both private and public places. Arriving at lunch time is a good indicator too.
Blossom
8th Apr 2018
1:06pm
Ffs Comrade. Both use Agency staff at times. Some of them are very inexperienced. Some of them are as lazy or even worse than the normal staff. Unless they are reported to the Agency nothing is done about it.
arbee
4th Apr 2018
3:27pm
Hope they don't do it in SA, because after 16 years of socialist government we now have the most run down hospital system in Australia. They could sit in emergency for days before a public hospital bed becomes available. It will take the new government years to sort this problem out. We now have an ever increasing aging population with many fewer hospital beds than ever before.
TREBOR
4th Apr 2018
3:41pm
You've had a Labor government there for sixteen consecutive years? Or are you including the LNP as well as 'socialist' - which indeed they must be in order to hold any place in a reasoned democracy .....
arbee
4th Apr 2018
5:00pm
Yes it was the labour government who not only ran down the whole health system over 16 years but have also wasted billions on a new hospital, (the most expensive in the world) which now does not meet best practices standards. They also spent over half a billion on an electronic records system that had already been proven not to work elsewhere and had to be dumped. Then they proceeded to shut down suburban public hospitals trying to centralise everything, creating further bed shortages as well. How in your twisted left wing way of thinking do you hold the LNP to blame when they were in minority and did not have any say in government decisions. I don't recall you applying the same standards federally when the libs are in power
Knows-a-lot
4th Apr 2018
5:14pm
There are no "labour" governments in Australian. It's Labor.
ray from Bondi
4th Apr 2018
9:18pm
you expect a liberal government to help the needy when they say it is their own fault for being poor so should not be helped in any way.
I would not be surprised if they also believe that the elderly should be able to pay for their own care as they can out of their billions ripped from the public so do not deserve help again.
The libs are all about profit.
arbee
4th Apr 2018
9:36pm
Knows a lot doesn't know so much. Last I heard we still use the English version of the dictionary, not the American. It is your labour mob who cant spell, maybe they should pack up and go to America where they spell the same way.
arbee
4th Apr 2018
9:38pm
No answer from Trebor, did the cat in your profile picture get your tongue.
TREBOR
4th Apr 2018
9:43pm
Hardly - I do have other things to do..... (snuckles)..

Labor is what used to be Labour before they ripped the YOU out of it....

I oppose them with might and main the same as the .... other lot.... they who will not be named.... (no need)...
Blossom
8th Apr 2018
1:14pm
arbee. Yes, Adelaide has a new RAH with less beds than the old one had and much larger single rooms. A big step backwards. There was a shortage of beds at the old RAH. Now the situation is even worse.
Not sure about the RAH but some hospitals constantly have Mental Health patients in Emergency Dept. for longer (sometimes a day or more) than they should because the the Ward is full. Most Emergency Staff are not specially trained for Mental Health patients, especially those who tend to be violent/and or abusive.
Knows-a-lot
4th Apr 2018
5:10pm
There needs to be a Royal Commission into the whole aged-care sector. They're mongrels.
heemskerk99
4th Apr 2018
7:56pm
what tools knowsalot and tremor(labor mick) are, knowsnot, all it can come up with is lieberals in power, that is the total of his mental capability of education reached since birth, another waste of taxpayer's money and as for tremor (labor mick), he must thinks it sounds intelligent to use words the likes of tovarich?, vultures, owned doctors, gulag or did it mean goulash, soylent green, etc, obviously living in russia is it's ultimate wish, I for one would not have the heart to stop tremy of doing so, really this pair has to be vying to win the annual price of dumb and dumber at ylc
ray from Bondi
4th Apr 2018
9:23pm
well, let us hope there is a royal commission and it is not blocked as the banking commission was. the truth would come out then.
ekbg2002
4th Apr 2018
8:20pm
Not for Profit are the best ones usually. Staffing is different, with more passion. In all aged care facilities, there will always be medication stuff ups, other issues, similar to hospitals.It is not a perfect world. Not for Profits tend to have same staff for years, they retain staff, retain residents, retain volunteers and are normally difficult to get into. They, as a charity, have volunteers, to assist with activity programs (not run them, but assist and another hand to help out on outings etc) which makes for a more community involved atmosphere which keeps the grey matter alive. I'd love a list of companies private or nfp that are doing this. Private companies wanting to make money, make cuts in other areas of care because they want to make a profit out of our parents. It's disgraceful. The government certainly need to look at aged care, our vulnerable people, once they were little boys and girls, fell in love, went to war, had families, raised families, worked hard...only to end up in a room where you could swing a cat. They deserve the best care possible at this time of their life. It's an absolute privilege to meet the staff who are passionate about their jobs, the staff who go over and above, the staff who will stay with a person who is in pall care and dying, the compassion - these nurses and PC/s burn out quickly. More computer work than client-focused makes it even sadder. Add volunteers into the scenario and it is a different picture - so long as the program is run under strict guidelines and volunteers trained and continued to be trained in areas of care and know what their role is, and that is not that of a PC or nurse. PC's ought to do the Disability Cert as would give them a deeper knowledge of chronic health problems. Mixing people with Alzheimer's with people who are very with it - doesn't work. It only scares the person who doesn't have Alzheimer's as they get followed into their room, or they are screaming out day and night, scared they will get it. Staff trying to make people attend meetings and put their name down because it looks good at accreditation, this is so wrong. Let these people have a say. Or take a look at Sweden - they actually keep people in their homes and add a few other elderly people, and utilise uni social workers, nurses, doctors to sleep over and be there through the day, as well as cook etc. A much better environment. We will never get it right clumping all in the one arena. I am thankful for the passionate staff, but also realise it is very easy to get a PC Cert and an easy job for some. Many left alone and not spoken too, or ignored by staff. Residents often "love the place" "It's so nice here" "the staff are great" - all sound good, but they are scared, why would they stand up and say as a vulnerable 95 y/o "they don't come to me when I need them, they don't care." Find the right place and your parent will be in heaven. Expect a very long waiting time though. The places that have 3 - 4 vacancies all the time are generally private and have vacancies for a reason. Many residents walking out on two feet to go to another residential facility. It sucks. But look now, and put your folks name down now on the list. It's the only way to get into the good ones. Thank you to the wonderful workers out there who are doing a great job, and a big boo to those who don't care, who are working in the industry - get out of it if you can't treat someone with respect, have no compassion, and simply want the money, and work night time duty and weekend duty because they are paid more. Gives me the heebies. This job isn't for you. Go work as a check out person somewhere and let someone passionate do the job. It's a hard job to do but those with passion do it oh so well.
ray from Bondi
4th Apr 2018
9:20pm
here here my mum was in a Catholic home and the staff and assistance was outstanding though I did notice that staff numbers dropped a bit from when she went in but they always did their best
M J
4th Apr 2018
8:30pm
Not all age care are dumping their patients as when my mum was in there we had to insists that they take her to hospital as she was dying but with the right care she lived another 7 years but then I’ve paid medical all my life and now it getting the stage where I’m can virtually not affording it , so why would you not want to use it to be fair to people who are paying .
ray from Bondi
4th Apr 2018
9:12pm
what do I think I can not write here, and the government does nothing it is an obscenity that this allowed to continue, but when has right-wing politics included caring, sadly I suspect the labor party would probably have the same outcome as politics have sold the lot including the government backbone.
ray from Bondi
4th Apr 2018
9:20pm
opps
TREBOR
4th Apr 2018
11:59pm
Yes, you can - you're among fiends here.... say it loud and clear...

I agree that Labor will not materially alter these issues or set in place any forces for positive change - they're totally tied into their stacked by feminists branch ideology of handing women total control over our society. After all - when the majority in the branches and the ACTU uphold all the feminist stuff - it is a bounden duty of the party to advocate and promote it, yes? Isn't that 'democracy'?

Let me tell you, son - the days of needing to be a woman with a fine asset and a nice set of tots to get on in Labor and the ACTU are long gone - nowadays you only need to be a woman and it's straight aces all the way to the top and a life of luxury paid for by the taxpayer and the Union member.

No wonder the nation is in ruins with these two parties operating as a government of two parties bounded by self and special interest, and not the absolute well-being of the nation as a whole.
ray from Bondi
4th Apr 2018
9:12pm
what do I think I can not write here, and the government does nothing it is an obscenity that this allowed to continue, but when has right-wing politics included caring, sadly I suspect the labor party would probably have the same outcome as politics have sold the lot including the government backbone.
mareela
5th Apr 2018
7:57pm
Aged care is in crisis and it seems no one cares, especially our government and I don’t think Labor would be any better. There is mass rorting of the system, especially ACFI (Aged Care Funding Instrument). Staff are told to put down behaviours of residents, whether true or not as the nursing home gets more money. They cut back staff to the point each resident can only have 10 minutes allocated care. The staff patient ratio is often 1:10 or more. At night it’s even worse. Many homes have a policy of not replacing sick leave, so again residents miss out on care. NSW passed Legislation stating it was not necessary to have an RN on duty during the night. All they’re interested in is out and out profiteering. Staff do their best but it is physically impossible to attend to all resident cares promptly. So often residents who need to be fed either miss out or get cold food. It’s disgusting and it’s not an isolated case. Most homes are rorting the system, making billions of dollars and continue to reduce staff and adequate care to the elderly. What is wrong with Australians? We should be marching in the streets and forcing our government to address the ongoing lack of care of our elderly. It’s a crime and for a start we need legislated staff/resident ratios. The whole system needs an overhaul.
ekbg2002
5th Apr 2018
8:36pm
Mareela,
Couldn't agree more. It's a disgrace. I think our pollies need to take a holiday in some of these facilities for a month and see how they go! A challenge for them but the public get to say which facilities they go too! Be put on drugs to dope them up a bit too,and let them experience what our loved ones feel.
Blossom
8th Apr 2018
1:03pm
It isn't only the hospitals effected it is the pressure put on the Ambulance Service too


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