Setting prices for Home Care Packages

Providers must set prices in line with aged care legislation and consumer law.

What you must do

You must set reasonable and justifiable prices for care and services. To do this, you must ensure prices are:

  • value for money and reflect the resources it takes to provide the care or service
  • clear, understandable and transparent
  • in the best interests of your care recipients
  • in line with program requirements and legislation
  • directly related to coordinating allowable care or services, or purchasing goods to meet the care recipient’s assessed needs and goals.

What you must not do

You must not:

  • charge separate prices for any business-related administration costs (such as business insurance, general training of staff or rent). You must include these in the unit price for care and services
  • misuse market power by setting prices below cost price in a way that lessens competition
  • duplicate charges (for example, do not charge for administration in both the direct service unit price and the package management price)
  • engage in conduct through their dealings with care recipients or third parties that is false, misleading, deceptive or unconscionable.

It’s also illegal for businesses to agree prices among themselves or engage in other anti-competitive pricing behaviour. For more information see the ACCC’s guidance on setting prices: what's allowed.

You should also not:

  • price care or package management as an hourly charge or an hourly price on top of a base care or package management charge
  • set or charge a separate price for extra care management or package management, such as
    • additional care plan review and development
    • extra invoice processing.

From 1 January 2023, you cannot charge above the caps for care management and package management or set separate charges for third party services. For more information see updates on these pages:

If the price differs from your published price

In most cases, you should charge your published price. In some cases, you may need to negotiate a different price, such as where the care recipient has a particular request or need. In these instances, you must:

  • negotiate and agree the price with the care recipient
  • outline the difference in price and why it is different in the home care agreement and package budget
  • include the pricing schedule as published in the home care agreement.

From 1 January 2023, even if the care recipient requests or agrees to it, you cannot charge more than the maximum amount for care and package management or a separate charge for third party services.

Consumer law and setting prices

Find out more at Setting prices: what’s allowed on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website.

Business Advisory Service

You can apply for free, independent and confidential advice from the Business Advisory Service. This service can help you to review your operations and improve your business management and financial strategies.

This service is intended to target providers at risk from financial stress, such as providers operating in rural and remote locations and smaller providers.

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