Changes to home care pricing introduced in July this year have meant home care providers have had to change their approach to administration fees, however there is another fee you need to watch – care management.
From July 1, all home care providers were required to publish their current pricing information in a new standardised home care pricing schedule on the Service Finder on the My Aged Care website.
This move was to make it easier for home care consumers to compare fees and service charges between different providers.
Before this change, home care providers didn’t always make their fees and charges widely accessible which lead to some providers charging administration fees up to 40% of the package value which didn’t leave a lot of funds for care.
The changes also required providers to change their administration charging practices to exclude business-related costs. These costs now need to be included in the price for care and services so that consumers can see the all-inclusive costs for delivering the service.
To reflect this change, administration fees are now called package management fees and have accordingly changed to be around 5-10% for most providers.
However, another fee to watch for is care management. When comparing different home care providers, some will list their care management as a fortnightly or weekly amount or a percentage. Providers are charging in the range of 12-20% for care management, regardless of how much care management a client needs or uses.
In the case of a Level 4 package, a care management fee of 15% will swallow up $7,500 a year so it’s important to know what you are getting for that fee.
What is care management?
According to My Aged Care, care management covers coordinating care and services that help deliver on the goals identified in your care plan.
While every care plan will require some care management, according to Envigor General Manger Alicia Wooding, the amount of management varies and paying a flat percentage doesn’t always deliver value for clients.
“When it came to setting our care management fees, we opted to charge care management only when the client requires at an hourly rate of $65, with a minimum charge of 15 minutes per appointment,” says Alicia.
“When we sit down with our clients to develop their care plan, we work with them to ascertain how much care management they want and need. It should be a personal choice.
“Our role as home care providers is to walk alongside our clients to enable them to make choices about how much support they require so it makes sense to us that you should only pay for the care management you need and want.
“Envigor care partners are all locally based and know each of their clients personally, which also cuts down care management costs as what some larger providers will charge as care management is just part of our everyday service.
“We empower our clients to be as independent as possible by delivering an individual service, not just a one size fits all.”