Across Australia, Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers are busy laying the groundwork for reforms to home care for seniors.
If you’re a CHSP provider, and feeling overwhelmed, you’ll be relieved to hear the government has postponed the start date of the new Support at Home Program to July 2024. This extra 12 months of breathing space is a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with the changes that are the government’s response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
And the new National Unit Price Ranges for services is one thing to get on top of, as soon as you can.
They were introduced to help providers transition to funding being paid after service delivery (“in arrears”) instead of before, and prepare them for future in-home aged care reforms.
Why change prices?
The price ranges, developed by ACIL Allen consulting, are part of plans to establish more consistent pricing nationally for home care services.
On 17 November, Aged Care Minister Anika Wells announced capping administration fees for aged-care home packages, from 1 January 2023. Management fees will be limited to 20%, and package management charges to 15%. Exit fees will be abolished.
Ms Wells said the lower fees would give older people more money to pay for help to stay independent at home.
“We are acting quickly to remove the most excessive charges and putting downward pressure on prices,” she said.
What does “unit pricing” mean?
The unit price, or cost, of your product or service equals direct costs (e.g. labour and materials) plus indirect costs (e.g. rent or electricity) divided by the total units of service or “outputs” (e.g. actual hours of service, trips or meals or funded hours of service, trips or meals.)
It lets consumers compare services, while providers can see how efficiently they’re working.
What are the new 2022-23 national unit price ranges?
Only two services will continue being delivered based on the cost in dollars – Goods, Equipment and Assistive Technology services (up to $1,000 per person per year) and Home Modifications (up to $10,000 per person per financial year).
The rest will have set price ranges reflecting the actual cost of delivering services. However, CHSP providers can also request an additional contribution from clients who can afford it.
Source: Commonwealth Home Support Programme Manual 2022-2023
Also, some CHSP providers in remote locations are eligible for loading on top of the unit prices. To qualify, you must deliver more than 51% of your services in an area where the MMM is 6 or 7. MMM stands for Modified Monash Model – the government’s scale for defining geographical isolation, where 1 is a city and 7 is very remote (a town like Bourke).
Click here to check if you qualify for the loading.
Would you like to know more?
Watch this space for updates on the reforms and what they mean for you.
And if you’re interested in further reading now, take a look at: