Kinny Legal is an award-winning virtual law firm that offers leading expertise in the aged care law, health law, and retirement law. Their clients are the disruptors, the visionaries, the innovators that will change our world. Their role is to make sure they have the legal structures and protections they need to reach their full potential, so we can all reap the benefits. Please welcome Guest Blogger Jessica Kinny, Solicitor Director of Kinny Legal.
The beginning of a new year is a useful time to step back and decide what should be done differently to achieve better outcomes in your aged care facility. As aged care lawyers, we see a lot of risk and liability issues arising from the same root cause – unsatisfactory residential care contracts, housed within an unsatisfactory contracts management system. If you own or manage a facility, you already know that residential care contracts should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changes in law, changes in the facility, and as part of a continuous improvement strategy – but, it can be hard to know where to start. To us, your review should always begin by finding the answer to these essential questions.
1. Are the contracts up to date?
The aged care industry is highly regulated, and the relevant laws frequently change. Your organisation should be aware of all changes in relevant laws and ensure that its residential care contracts are updated as required before those changes take effect. It’s also not unusual for the facility to change over time – e.g. changes to rules, room numbering, contact information, and services – so your review should also include ensuring that the contracts are factually accurate and up to date.
2. Are the contracts readable?
The aged care legislation requires residential care contracts to contain many prescribed terms, and several are quite complex. It can be difficult to ensure that the contract contains all these prescribed terms while still being easy to read and understand. Some practical ways of making the contract more readable include:
- using plain and simple language;
- using short and simple sentences;
- avoiding repetition;
- setting out the key information (e.g. fees, services, room type) in a summary table at the beginning of the contract.
When answering this question as part of your review, it is also worth considering the experience of the resident and their . . .
Need more help?
If you require legal advice or wish to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please call Kinny Legal on 02 9199 4563 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They are recognised experts in aged care law and privacy law, and they would be delighted to answer any questions you have. Recently Mirus Australia announced a formal collaboration with Kinny Legal with the goal of #makingagedcarebetter