What third-party services are
Third-party services are care or services that another organisation or person provides.
This includes where you:
- source and coordinate care and services through a third-party (including subcontractors, labour hire or brokered services)
- purchase goods, equipment, and assistive technology from a third party.
You may engage them on an ad hoc or ongoing basis to meet your care recipients’ needs or their requests for specific workers or service providers.
Costs of third-party care and services
Prices must be reasonable and justifiable. This means they must be value for money and consider the effort and resources it takes to coordinate them.
If engaging third-party services 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.
From 1 January 2023, third-party service charges must be all-inclusive. You must not charge a separate amount for third-party services, even if:
- you made a business decision to engage a third party
- the care recipient chose a third party to provide those services.
We expect that most, if not all, additional costs related to third-party services will be recouped through care and package management charges. Reasonable business overheads and costs that cannot be charged in care and package management can be included in the all-inclusive price for the third-party care or services.
Please note, you should not set or charge a separate price for extra care management or package management.
To prepare for 1 January 2023 changes, you should consider how to include any third-party costs in the following price categories.
Care management generally covers the following activities when engaging third-party services:
- review the care recipient’s home care agreement and care plan to ensure the third-party services align with other supports
- partner with the care recipient and their family and carers about their care provision
- ensure that services are culturally safe
- identify and address risks to the care recipient’s safety, health and wellbeing.
Package management generally covers the following administration tasks when engaging third-party services:
- coordinate and organise third-party services (outside of clinical decisions)
- prepare invoices, monthly statements and claims
- manage records
- respond to invoice queries
- arrange home modifications and buy goods, equipment, and assistive technology
- ensure third-party staff are suitable, such as with police checks and immunisation checks
- quality improvement, compliance, and assurance activities
- prepare and submit reports on quality
- maintain COVID vaccination compliance documents.
Direct service charges generally cover the following activities when engaging third-party services:
- cost of third-party care or service
- business overheads and costs.
What you are responsible for
As an approved provider, you are legally responsible for services delivered by a third-party.
You must oversee the services to:
- ensure quality of care
- resolve issues or complaints
- monitor care recipient outcomes
- check key personnel are suitable
- confirm the services meet all aged care legislative requirements.
You decide if third parties are suited to provide a particular service, based on your knowledge of the care recipient’s needs and the legislative requirements.
If a care recipient requests third-party services, you must balance:
- your ongoing accountability for what you spend the package budget on and providing quality of care
- the care recipient’s right to choose the types of services they need and how you provide these.