Important potential changes to information with regards to the issue of ‘additional charges’ being made by aged care facilities have been made on the MyAgedCare website.
The Department of Health updated the section at the end of July on aged care fees to include the following section regarding additional services:
- whether providers can require residents to pay for additional services as a condition of entry (ie the ‘mandatory model’); and
- whether they can be provided on a packaged basis, similar to extra services.
However, a word of caution, as it appears the changes don’t provide clarity on key issues, such as what an itemised account requires, and in what circumstances providers can charge for higher quality forms of services.
As we reported here such a provider, Regis Aged Care fell foul of an attempt to indeed make additional charges under the guise of an ‘Asset Replacement Charge’ which was eventually dismissed by the Federal Court.
With such reliance on statements about ‘mandatory” additional services fees and services that can be provided on a packaged basis a representative at The MyAgeCare website said it was important that potential residents and families should always ‘drill down’ when entering into negotiations with aged care facilities.
Meanwhile, providers charging, or considering charging for, additional services should continue to closely monitor regulatory developments in this area and seek legal advice if required as it remains a high-risk area for providers.