An article reported in the Community Care Review on 6 March 2019 called the Aged Care Matters report, was based on the experiences of 40 home care recipients and their carers which found that consumers are unhappy with fixed rates for case management. An example was included where one client was charged more than $600 a month despite not having a case manager. Consumers are becoming much more savvy regarding fees charged against their package and questioning these charges especially when there is no justification for them being charged. Having said that, some case managers spend a lot more time with some of their consumers which would easily outweigh the fee charged.
According to the “Pricing Transparency Fact Sheet” published in Feb 2019, Case Management or Care management (new terminology) is a key component of every home care package.
Care management may include:
· reviewing the Home Care Agreement and care plan
· coordination and scheduling of services
· ensuring the care is aligned 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.
These services may be provided in different ways including face-to-face or via phone or email.
The question is: Is there a more fairer and transparent way of keeping both parties satisfied with the charging of fees for this service? I think there is.
You could charge the consumer a Basic Fee (Package set up and review fee) for services that need to be provided for compliance purposes and then charge an hourly rate in additional to that for any other services requested by the consumer however you need to keep track of the time so you can be as transparent as possible. If you liken it to your gym membership it makes more sense. If you are using the gym a lot and feel like you are getting value, you don’t mind being charged a weekly/fortnightly/monthly fee however if you struggle to make it there once a week, you probably don’t feel like you are getting value and either resent it or cancel it.
I suppose what I am saying is that the consumer has to feel that they are getting value for money and if you can’t show them that with your current offering, you need to give them other options.
If you are interested in digitising your consumer on-boarding to make the process more efficient and less costly, contact Debra Ward via the Care Collaborator web page: www.carecollaborator.com.au, email email@example.com or mobile 0438 020 728.