Improving the publication of home care pricing information
Senior Australians and their families have raised concerns and complaints on the lack of transparency and comparability in home care pricing information, and also the high administration prices being charged by some providers.
These issues have been raised through a variety of channels, including through the Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017.
A policy roundtable was convened in March 2018 comprising key sector representatives, including peak bodies, and consumer and home care provider representatives. The roundtable provided advice to the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP on a proposed approach.
In early July 2018, all home care providers were advised of a phased approach to improving pricing transparency and comparability.
The phased approach ensures immediate benefits for senior Australians to improve the availability of pricing information, and provides sufficient time for home care providers to adjust the changes and undertake necessary transition activities.
Improving home care pricing transparency
From 30 November 2018 all home care providers have been required to publish their current pricing information on the My Aged Care Service Finder. Providers are required to do this by either:
- Uploading a document such as a PDF, or
- Including a website URL link directly to their pricing schedule.
Home care providers must publish their information in English, but can also provide a translated version of their pricing information if they choose to do so.
Improving home care pricing comparability
By 1 July 2019 home care providers will need to publish their pricing information in a new standardised home care pricing comparability Schedule (the Schedule) on the My Aged Care Service Finder.
The Schedule will provide information on the common services and costs under a home care package, to better support senior Australians understand and compare home care pricing information.
Home care providers must publish their pricing information by 1 July 2019. however, they are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.
By 1 July 2019, providers must also publish their full price list i.e. pricing information about all the services and costs that may be charged either by URL website link or through publishing an attachment.
Home Care Providers will also be required to undertake the following for new clients from 1 July 2019, and for existing clients, before 1 July 2020:
- Print a copy of the pricing Schedule and include it within each client’s Home Care Agreement.
- Charge client’s the price that they publish. In limited circumstances, if a provider needs to charge a different amount for a particular service than their published amount, they will need to discuss and agree this with their client and detail the different price and the reason within their Home Care Agreement.
- Change their existing administration charging practices, as they will no longer be able to charge separately for business related costs.
- These costs will need to be included within the price for specific care services to ensure people can see the all-inclusive costs for delivering the service. For more information, please refer to the ‘Resources for providers’ section below.
These changes will enable senior Australians to better understand and compare service offerings and costs across home care providers and make a more informed decision about the best provider to deliver their care.
The Schedule has been developed following extensive consultation with senior Australians, home care providers, consumer representatives and peak bodies.
A printable version of the Schedule and associated definitions has been included below, to assist providers with the implementation of these changes. The information included will be the same in all locations. However, the Schedule will look different, in the My Aged Care Provider Portal and the My Aged Care Service Finder.
Resources for providers:
- Fact Sheet – Improving the publication of home care pricing information
- Home Care Pricing Comparability Schedule
- Department of Health Home Care Pricing Comparability Schedule Definitions
- Quick Reference Guide - Create service delivery outlets and add service information using the My Aged Care provider portal
- My Aged Care operational update - Webinar
- Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Comparability of Home Care Pricing Information) Principles 2019
- User Rights Principles 2014
- Quality of Care Principles 2014
- Information Principles 2014
- Updates through Aged Care Newsletters
The Department is working on further materials to support the transition and change management process. More information will be available shortly.
Updates will be provided through existing channels, including Aged Care provider newsletters.