Changes are coming into effect from 1 January 2023. Learn more about what the changes are and how you can prepare for them.
What price transparency means
Price transparency means you must:
- publish your prices on My Aged Care so they appear when people search for services
- keep your prices up to date
- provide your pricing schedule to your care recipients
- charge 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 compare the prices of different providers more easily.
We have developed guidance to help you set prices, publish your prices and charge for care and services.
- Setting prices
You must set prices in line with aged care legislation and consumer law. You are responsible for complying with your legislative obligations.
- Publishing prices
You must meet price transparency requirements, including publishing your prices on My Aged Care and providing your pricing schedule to your care recipients.
- Charging prices
You must meet price transparency requirements by applying fair, clear and mutually agreed charging practices to your care recipients.
Regulation and compliance
If you do not meet requirements, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission may take compliance action.
We will be updating the service provider portal in early 2023 to complement the changes that come into effect on 1 January 2023. These enhancements will prevent price entries above set caps.
We will also have several measures in place to actively monitor and review policy implementation, such as analysis of:
- providers with charges over the caps
- providers that raise their charges to the caps
- providers that implement cost shifting measures.
We will also investigate issues raised in regular engagements with peak bodies, advocacy groups and care recipient correspondence and may contact providers for clarification.
Program assurance reviews
We conduct annual risk-based assurance reviews of home care providers. Learn more about our program assurance reviews.
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission uses a wide range of regulatory tools to monitor and assess the performance of aged care providers. The commission draws on a range of information, and considers all relevant evidence, to identify risk and take action through:
- monitoring and assessment activities
- any subsequent regulatory actions.
This can include:
- information gathered from complaints or consumer feedback
- on-site activities such as audits or other visits
- non-site activities such as telephone assessment contacts
- compulsory reports from aged care providers.
If the commission finds a provider to be non-compliant with their responsibilities, the commission will progress further compliance or enforcement action. In all circumstances, the commission’s response is informed by the risk posed to the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of consumers.
For more information visit the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s website.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is an independent Commonwealth statutory authority. Its role is to:
enforce the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and a range of additional legislation
- promote competition and fair trading
- regulate national infrastructure for the benefit of all Australians.
If you do not comply with consumer law, the ACCC may:
- impose serious financial penalties
- order corrective actions through the courts.
This may result in damage to your reputation.
For example, conduct that breaches Australian consumer law can attract penalties either:
- $50 million or 3 times the value derived from the relevant breach – whichever is the larger
- 30% of the company’s turnover during the period it engaged in the conduct, if the value derived from the breach cannot be determined.
The maximum penalty for an individual is $2.5 million per breach.
The ACCC can investigate and act:
- where businesses mislead care recipients about pricing, including the reasons for price increases or the level and care of services you provide
- on unfair business practices which can relate to things like how businesses promote, sell and deliver products and services, what terms they use in contracts, and how they take payment from consumers
- against businesses involved in price fixing and other anti-competitive behaviour (collusion, exclusive dealing, misuse of market power to list a few).
You can find more information on your obligations to consumers, and how to meet them, as well as your business rights in the ACCC publication Home care services – Know your business rights and obligations under the competition and consumer law.
- Our aged care webinars
- Updates through our aged care newsletters
- Home Care Packages Program Operational Manual: A Guide for Home Care Providers