More than half of home care providers are charging consumers less than the maximum basic daily fee amount and 22 per cent are waiving the fee altogether, a new survey finds.
The Aged Care Financing Authority survey of 370 providers also found 17 per cent of providers were not collecting the income-tested care fee from home care package clients.
Small providers and those serving remote communities were less likely to charge the consumer fees, while for-profit services had higher than average rates of charging.
The client co-contributions were introduced in 2014 as part of the Gillard government’s Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms. Under the fee arrangements, the government’s home care package subsidy is reduced by the amount of the client’s assessed income-tested care fee.
The survey results show that many providers chose not to collect the consumer fees because they believed clients could not afford them.
However, ACFA said inconsistency in the fee charging practices of providers created inequity in consumer contributions and the government could consider making it compulsory for providers to collect the assessed income-tested care fee.
“Different consumers with the same income are paying different fees in some cases,” said the ACFA report provided to the Aged Care Legislated Review.
It was unclear if providers were absorbing the cost of the subsidy reduction, and therefore potentially impacting their viability, or waiving the fee and reducing the value of a person’s package, which was not permitted by legislation, the report said.
Read more at http://www.australianageingagenda.com.au/2017/08/03/home-care-fee-arrangements-spotlight/