Price transparency for Home Care Packages

All home care providers must meet price transparency requirements, including publishing your prices on the My Aged Care website and providing your pricing schedule to your care recipients. Price transparency helps people to better understand and compare the prices of different providers.

What is price transparency?

Price transparency means you:

  • publish your prices on My Aged Care so they appear when people search for services
  • keep the prices up to date
  • provide your pricing schedule to your care recipients
  • charge them the prices in the schedule, unless otherwise agreed and recorded in writing
  • meet the requirements for administration costs

This helps older Australians and their families to more easily compare the prices of different providers.

What you must do

You must:

For all new care recipients from 1 July 2019, you must:

  • include a copy of your pricing schedule in their home care agreements
  • charge them the prices in that schedule, unless otherwise agreed — you must include any different prices and the reason in their home care agreement
  • not charge separate amounts for any business-related administration costs
  • make sure any administration costs are reasonable

For people who were already in your care on 1 July 2019, you must do the following by 1 July 2020, if they agree:

  • review their home care agreement and include a copy of your pricing schedule
  • charge them the prices in that schedule, unless otherwise agreed — you must include any different prices and the reason in their home care agreement
  • roll any separate business-related administration costs into service prices, if you’re keeping them
  • make sure any administration costs are reasonable

If you do not meet these requirements, the Department of Health may take compliance action.

Reviewing home care agreements

When you review home care agreements, continue to use a consumer-directed care approach.

This means you must:

  • give care recipients enough information about any price changes
  • make sure they understand how the changes may affect them
  • explain that you cannot make changes to their home care agreement unless they agree

If they do not agree or do not respond, you cannot make the changes or stop providing care. This is not a new requirement. We expect you to negotiate an agreement that suits you and your care recipient.

We sent a Home Care Pricing fact sheet to all care recipients in July 2019. You can use this to help explain the price transparency changes.

Pricing schedule

The schedule sets out:

  • Australian Government funding for each package level
  • your basic daily fee
  • care management costs and approximate hours of service by level
  • the prices you charge for common Home Care Package services, such as:
    • personal care
    • nursing (registered nurse)
    • cleaning and household tasks
    • light gardening
    • in-home respite
  • other costs, such as:
    • package management
    • maximum exit amount, if you charge this
    • any staff travel costs
    • separate costs when you want to receive services from a different provider
  • links to full price lists
  • your contact details

The prices must be in dollar values, not percentages. For more detail, view the Pricing Schedule Example and Pricing Schedule Definitions.

To publish your pricing schedule, you must enter your prices in the service provider portal against all of your My Aged Care service items.

To find out how, read the Create Service Delivery Outlets and Add Service Information Guide.

Extra costs for subcontracted services

You may have extra costs when you subcontract services. If subcontracting is:

  • your decision, you must include the extra cost in the service price (you cannot charge for it separately)
  • the care recipient’s choice, explain how you will charge the extra cost in the schedule

Price ranges

If you offer genuine client choice, you can provide a minimum and maximum price for common services — for example, because you subcontract to different providers. You must still provide your most common price for the service.

Full price list

The price list must set out the prices of each kind of care and services you offer — not just the common ones.

You must publish a document (such as a PDF) or a website link that goes straight to your list. To find out how, read the Create Service Delivery Outlets and Add Service Information Guide.

If you want to, you can also include a copy of your full price list in home care agreements.

Administration costs

Business-related administration costs include costs such as office rent, insurance and marketing. You must not charge for these costs separately. If needed, you can include these costs in your prices for care and services. The amount you include must be reasonable.

Package management

You can charge separately for package management costs. Package management means the ongoing tasks you do to deliver and manage a Home Care Package. This includes:

  • preparing monthly statements
  • managing package funds
  • meeting compliance and quality assurance standards

Care management

Care management is a key part of every Home Care Package.

You must include the cost for care management services and outline your approach to care management in your pricing schedule.

Care management may include:

  • reviewing the home care agreement and care plan
  • coordinating and scheduling services
  • ensuring the care aligns with other supports
  • providing a point of contact for the home care recipient or their support network
  • ensuring care is culturally appropriate
  • identifying and addressing risks to the home care recipient’s safety

Pricing reviews

You must:

  • keep your pricing information up to date on My Aged Care
  • review your pricing information at least once a year and confirm you have done this in the service provider portal

For how to confirm your review, read the Create Service Delivery Outlets and Add Service Information Guide.

Resources

We told you about these changes in mid-2018 and provided you with advice and resources, including:

Laws that apply

The Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Comparability of Home Care Pricing Information) Principles 2019 sets out the legislative changes for price transparency.

It amended the following principles under the Aged Care Act 1997:

 

Last updated: 
22 January 2020
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