Compulsory Fees, a good thing?

As part of the changes to aged care announced in 2012, a comprehensive review was included in Aged Care (Living Longer Living Better) Act 2013 (the Act). The Aged Care Legislated Review (the Review) looked at the impact and effectiveness of the changes and has made recommendations for future reform to the aged care system.

On 31 July 2017, Mr David Tune AO PSM, as the independent reviewer, provided the report of the Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017, to the Minister for Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP

Recommendation 12 of the states:

  1. Rename the “basic daily fee” as a “basic care fee”
  2. Make it compulsory to charge the “basic care fee”
  3. Make it compulsory to charge the income-tested fee
  4. Make the value of the basic care fee proportionate to the value of the home care package, retaining an upper limit relating to the value of the single aged pension, which means the higher the funding, the more you can charge for the care fee.

There are a few reasons why Home Care Providers aren’t charging these fees:

  1. Not Compulsory – this makes it very hard to enforce payment of the fee, especially when the consumer has a substantial “Unspent Funds” balance.
  2. Competition – new providers are not charging these fees in an effort to establish themselves in the market, while existing providers have been reducing or eliminating them altogether.
  3. Workload – the resource required to bill-out and collect these fees may be substantial which adds to the Provider’s expenses, thereby reducing the bottom line.

Note – the existing process is that the basic daily care fee adds to the consumer’s income so they can purchase more goods/services which doesn’t add much to the Provider’s income unless the additional services are being provided by their own staff.

In my opinion….

The government should make the Basic Care Fee and the Income Tested Fee compulsory, allowing the Provider to use the Basic Care Fee to cover their administration costs. The Provider would no longer be allowed to deduct an administration fee from the consumer’s package, leaving more for service provision. This is similar to what the current practice is, however the key difference is that the fee is compulsory – which makes it easier to collect and ensures the provider cannot charge whatever they want for administration fees.

If you are interested in seeing a demonstration of Care Collaborator – specialist cloud based software developed to complete the on-boarding process at the initial consumer visit – please contact Debra Ward at Care Collaborator via the web page:, email or mobile 0438 020 728.

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