Government and aged care stakeholders need to take “a real look” at the delivery of home care packages as too much money is being taken by providers in the administration of services, the former chair of National Seniors has said.
Everald Compton, chair of the Longevity Forum and former head of the government’s Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing, said that “great hierarchies” of administration had been created within major aged care providers.
“I find it quite repugnant that a third of a package goes towards the administration of the service. That should not happen,” Mr Compton told aged care providers at the Leading Age Services Australia national congress last week.
“We need to alter that because older people on packages simply aren’t getting the benefits that they should,” he said.
At the most, 10 per cent of a home care package should be spent on the administration and delivery of the service, Mr Compton said.
His comments come amidst increasing concern over the administration fees charged to home care clients.
Last month Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie accused community care providers of charging their clients excessive administration fees on a scale that amounts to “systemic rorting” of government subsidies.
Mr Wilkie told Federal Parliament that he had received many complaints from older people and their families about “ridiculous administrative costs” being levied on consumers (read that story here).
Earlier this month Community Care Review reported that fees topped the list of home care complaints to the new Aged Care Complaints Commissioner in the first six months of 2016 (read that story here).
Consumer peak body Alzheimer’s Australia has previously proposed that the government introduce a cap on the administration fees providers could charge and for all admin charges to be published on My Aged Care.
Aged care provider peak bodies have told CCR they are strongly opposed to any proposals to cap administration fees, saying these charges should be market-based.
They argue that administration costs vary among providers based on several factors, including location, and they reject the claim that excessive fees are widespread, saying the majority of home care organisations provide affordable, quality services.
In 2015, a government commissioned evaluation of consumer directed care showed that on average providers were taking 27 per cent of a consumer’s subsidy in administration and case management fees. Average figures ranged from 29 per cent for a Level 1 and 3 package, to 21 per cent for a Level 4 package.
To subscribe to CCR please visit http://www.australianageingagenda.com.au/subscribe-to-ccr/