- Home care agreement
- Payment frequency of fees
- Refund of fees
- Individualised budget and monthly statement
- Unspent funds
Providers must discuss and agree upon any fees with the consumer before any services begin. The maximum fees payable must be recorded in the Home Care Agreement.
Read more about the home care agreement.
Providers cannot ask consumers to pay any fees before their home care package begins.
Once the Home Care Agreement has been agreed, providers can ask the consumer to pay fees up to one month in advance. Any fees paid in advance must be refunded to the consumer if they leave the home care package, or move to another service provider.
The fees that DHS advises are calculated daily and are payable even on days a consumer does not receive a service. The Government subsidy and supplements are calculated and are payable in the same way.
Home care fees that are refundable are fees that have been overpaid by the consumer and any fees paid in advance of the date from which the services cease. These fees are not included in the calculation of unspent funds. Read more about exit amounts.
The individualised budget should clearly identify the total funds available to the consumer, which is made up of:
- the Government subsidy (and eligible supplements);
- the basic daily fee;
- the maximum income-tested care fee payable, depending on the consumer’s assessable income; and
- any additional amount the consumer has agreed to pay for additional care and services with their service provider.
Providers must review and, if necessary, revise the individualised budget for the consumer if:
- a change to the care and services to be provided to the consumer through the home care package is proposed; or
- the costs of providing the care and services change; or
- the consumer requests them to do so.
Once care and services commence, providers must provide the consumer with a monthly statement that clearly shows their available funds, how those funds have been spent and the balance of any unspent funds. This includes home care fees that are paid and payable. This must be delivered to the consumer as soon as practical, after the provider has all the necessary information to complete it.
A consumer may choose to purchase additional care and services through their provider. This arrangement needs to be negotiated and agreed between the consumer and the provider.
Any fees for additional services from the consumer to the provider must be separately identified, either within the individualised budget and monthly statement or in a separate account.
Providers should work with their clients to ensure that they are able to benefit from the full use of their home care package and budget. However, there are instances where unspent funds may accumulate over time, where the client’s package funds have not been fully allocated within their individualised budget.
Read more about how providers can actively manage a client’s home care package to prevent the accumulation of unspent funds.
From 27 February 2017, home care package funds follow the consumer. Consumers can choose a provider who best meets their goals and needs, and to change their service provider if they wish, for example if they move to another area to live. If a consumer decides to make a change, their unspent home care amount (less any exit amount) will move with them to their new service provider. When a consumer leaves home care, the home care amount (less any exit amount) will be returned to the consumer, or their estate and the Commonwealth.
Read more about the process to transfer or return unspent funds in home care.