The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), alleges that the healthcare giant overcharged residents at 21 of its 78 aged care facilities by thousands of dollars a year for services that it did not provide between December 2007 and June 2018.
ACCC Chair, Rod Sims, says Bupa failed to ‘fully provide’ services promised in residential agreements (which residents were still charged for), including air-conditioning in all bedrooms, covered outdoor exercise areas, physiotherapy rooms, travel escorts, libraries and tactile and sensory walkways.
Mr Sims said that in some cases, the supposed misleading representations related to services that were “significant to the quality of life of elderly residents” and “were likely what attracted many residents and their families to choose Bupa.”
The ACCC’s proceedings against Bupa relate to 11 homes in NSW, seven in Victoria, two in Queensland and one in Tasmania.
An internal investigation has already been conducted and Bupa has repaid about 550 residents with interest, however the organisation has not put a dollar figure on the repayments. Bupa also no longer offers what it has called extra ‘hotel type’ services in its aged care homes.