In-home care packages being eroded due to management fees.
ABC’s Lateline has reported that the level of services being received by seniors as part of in-home care packages under Consumer Directed Care (CDC) is being eroded due to management fees.
It is claimed that not-for-profit providers are charging expensive administration and case management fees, which, in some cases, can account for between a third and half of the value of the care package.
In-home care packages are designed to help older people remain in the homes for longer, and an estimated 66,000 Australians rely on such services. Legislation changes mean that from 1 July 2015, these services are now delivered by CDC, which allows the client to have a greater say in the services they receive, resulting in a more personalised service for each individual.
The issue with the services appears to be that providers allocate a minimum number of hours for case management, whether they are required or not. Case management fees are often billed at $80 or more per hour, which is higher than the rate charged for many services, such as personal care. From September 2017, consumers will be able to shop around for the best deal and move their care packages to a different provider, but this may be too late for many.
Former Assistant Minister for Social Services, Mitch Fifield oversaw the introduction of CDC packages two years ago, and agreed there is a problem. Although he also said that part of this was due to only the first stage of wholesale changes being under way. He told Lateline:
“Some of [the fees] do look beyond the pale. So I would encourage any individual who thinks that they're not reasonable to speak up about it.
"Ultimately, it will be consumers themselves who pass judgement as to whether fee levels are appropriate."
Unfortunately, they won’t be able to act on this judgement for a couple of years yet.
Read more at ABC.net.au
Do you receive in-home care packages? Have you notice an increase in fees since the full implementation of Consumer Directed Care?