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Aged care IT vendors merge with medical peers to boost government influence

Today’s merger means that aged care technology vendors can be more proactive in responding to the impact of reforms in the sector, peak body president tells Australian Ageing Agenda.

All 23 members of the Aged Care IT Vendors Association, which represents organisations providing software and technical solutions to the aged and community care sectors, have today become members of the larger health sector counterpart, the Medical Software Industry Association.

Craig Porte

ACIVA transitional president Craig Porte said aged care technology vendors will have a better resourced peak body looking after their interests, which benefits vendors and providers.

“This hopefully gets us back at the table before reforms are introduced rather than finding out after the event and having no influence on the outcome,” Mr Porte told Australian Ageing Agenda.

“The plan is that vendors will now have access to better and timelier information so we can be proactive with reforms and innovation for the aged care sector,” said Mr Porte, who is CEO of carelink+, a developer in the community care space.

Aged care software vendors have repeatedly complained about insufficient time to update software following government changes to aged care and community programs, funding and provider obligations.

As an example, Mr Porte said that vendors only had two-and-a-half months to make and test major changes for new reporting obligations through the department’s Data Exchange (DEX) platform.

ACIVA was formed in 2009 because businesses providing IT to the aged care sector wanted their own voice, separate from other health IT organisations.

Mr Porte said while that aged care becoming one of many voices in MSIA could be a disadvantage, ACIVA members gained access to government bodies and an extended network, as well as to training and educational resources.

All ACIVA members rolled over into MSIA today and can choose whether they renew on 1 January 2018, Mr Porte said.

Nominations are being sought for a new position on the MSIA board for an aged care representative, which will be voted on in the near future, he said.

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