Clarification on new home care payment in arrears arrangements – can providers charge fees on the total package?

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Recently we reported on the Federal Government’s decision to shift home care providers from payment to advance to payment in arrears starting in February 2021 – just four months away.

We had a query from a reader about whether providers’ fees would now be calculated on the spent funds and not the client’s total package.

For example, if a client spends $10,000 of a $15,000 package in a year with a 20% management fee, will the provider now receive only $2,000 and not $3,000?

We put it to the Department of Health – here’s what they had to say.

Their spokesperson tells us that once the new payment arrangements have been implemented, providers can continue to charge to deliver package management and care management services, as the current legislation allows.

“The legislated requirements determining how providers set the prices they charge for these services will not be affected by the introduction of Improved Payment Arrangements,” they said.

“Care management should ensure there is no overlap, over-servicing or mismanagement of services. It may include activities such as reviewing the Home Care Agreement and care plan, coordination and scheduling of services and ensuring the care is aligned with other supports.”

“Any other administrative costs that need to be recouped from a home care package, apart from package management, will need to be included in the unit price for specific care services.”

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About Author

Lauren is the Editor at DCM Group and has guided its range of media including The Weekly SOURCE, The Daily RESOURCE and The Donaldson Sisters since 2016. With 13 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and commentator, Lauren is the only journalist to have attended every session of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, producing 300 issues of the subscriber-only The Daily COMMISSION which offers exclusive insights and analysis of the issues surrounding the Royal Commission and the aged care sector.