When headlines don’t capture the facts.
Earlier this week my family sent me the above image from the front page of The Advertiser newspaper (in Adelaide).
The article alleges that South Australian Aged Care provider(s) are charging up to $26,000 a year in administration and case-management fees to manage the government subsidised Home Care Packages.
The sub-text of the article calls for the federal government to pass laws to ‘stop the fee-frenzy’.
The intention of the story may be ‘on the money’, as it is always a good idea to ensure our ageing population is not getting ripped-off.
However, I believe the sensationalism of the headline and introductory paragraphs leave the reader believing they are being ripped-off by any and all In-Home-Care Providers.
Most Home Care Providers charge between 20 and 30%
It is vitally important that you – the consumer – compare ‘apples with apples’ when you are appointing a provider; and it is equally important to monitor the charges you receive on your monthly statement.
Allow me to break-down some of the charges for you:
- Each Provider offers an hourly rate (published on their website).
- Each Provider charges the following:
- Package Management Fees (goes towards the costs of the MyAgedCare portal administration costs and set-up)
- Care Management Fees (to pay HCP Case Managers/office-staff/and costs such as office-building, marketing, collateral and printing costs, etc)
- Case Management Fees (half-hour or hourly increments of Case Management for specific requests from each client)
- Some Providers (not all) charge an exit-fee to stop working with them.
The challenge is to compare each providers’ offering in a fair and equitable manner.
One provider may charge quite a low hourly rate of care. This can equate to one, two or four more hours of care per fortnight…
However, it is highly likely they will recoup what it costs to run a business by charging higher Care Management and Package Management Fees, to be able to deliver the number of hours of care they have committed-to.
Another Provider may have a slightly higher hourly rate, yet charge lower administrative fees.
Most Providers need to pass-on the cost of individual Case Management requests.
For example, you may not contact your Case Manager more than once or twice a year.
Some other clients (or family members) call their case manager every day – sometimes even several times a day.
This time you are utilising needs to be charged for- standard business procedures.
I believe it is quite likely that the above-mentioned ‘fee of $26,000’ highlighted in The Advertiser’s Newspaper Article includes many hours of individual Case Management, which are particular to that one client – not across ALL customers of the Home Care Package provided by that one particular Provider.
My recommendation is to ask questions of the Home Care Package Providers you are interviewing and ask them to explain how their Case Management fee works, before you sign their service agreement; and also ongoingly, as they manage your package.
Most importantly, I wish to stress that each consumer, every single ageing Australian has the right to choose a Provider that answers their questions and communicates clearly with them.
If you ever feel you are not receiving clear information, contact me, or an independent advocacy group: OPAN.org.au for example, who can outline your rights and empower you to ask the appropriate question.
The In-home Care Provider I work with: @PrestigeInHomeCare offers the following fees and hourly rates which equate to 22-23% of your package.
Case Management fees are charged separately, on an as-needed basis.
I believe this format offers the maximum clarity.
Remember: You ,the consumer, are in control. You have the option to change providers at any stage.
And in reference to the sensationalist newspaper headline – don’t choose a provider that charges more than 50% of your government subsidised Home Care Package!
Need help working this all out? No Problem.
Book a Free No Obligation call with me and I will walk you through the Ins and Outs of the Aged Care System
(Make sure you download my eBook on the Aged Care System as well)