Bupa fined $6 million for false aged care claims

Bupa fined $6 million for false aged care claims

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Many residents paid for "hotel type" services that they either didn't receive or only received in part. Photo: Shutterstock

Many residents paid for "hotel type" services that they either didn't receive or only received in part. Photo: Shutterstock

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More than $18 million will also be paid in compensation.

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AGED care provider Bupa will pay $6 million in penalties and more than $18 million on compensation after the Federal Court found the company made misleading claims and took payments for services not provided.

Between April 2013 and June 2018, residents at 20 of Bupa's facilities in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania, paid for a package of extra services, which often amounted to thousands of dollars annually. These services included "hotel type" care such as gardens or rooms designed to assist those living with dementia.

An internal review conducted in 2018 found these services were not provided to residents as they should have been.

Bupa's managing director for villages and aged care Suzanne Dvorak apologised for the error and the affect it had on residents and their families.

"Having a family member enter aged care is often a stressful time, and we are deeply sorry for our mistake, which impacted some of our residents and their loved ones," Ms Dvorak said.

"As soon as we discovered our error, we voluntarily reported the issue to the ACCC and other regulators, and began the work to ensure we compensated residents fairly and quickly."

The Senior understands Bupa has already reimbursed with interest 85 per cent of residents affected.

Bupa confirmed that a small number of former residents have not yet received reimbursement due to outdated contact details, however Bupa is continuing to attempt to contact next of kin as a priority.

Ms Dvorak said Bupa has revoked the extra service arrangements across all of its care facilities.

Anyone who believes a direct relative may have been impacted and hasn't received a reimbursement is encouraged to contact Bupa on 1300 072 311.

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