From 27 February 2017, if a home care package client decides to leave their provider’s care, the provider will need to reconcile the client’s package to determine if there will be an unspent home care amount. The unspent home care amount is the total amount including the total subsidy, any supplements and home care fees paid for the period of care that have not been spent or committed to the client’s care and services. It is important to note that:
The unspent home care amount is calculated when a care recipient leaves home care (eg they move to another provider, pass away or move to residential aged care). The unspent home care amount is worked out for the period that begins on the later of:
An example of how to calculate an unspent home care amount is available on the Department of Health (DoH) website. It is important to note that if the care recipient portion is a negative amount, it is taken to be nil. If the client has unpaid care fees this remains a matter for the original provider and cannot be transferred to the new provider.
This information is covered in the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Increasing Consumer Choice) Principles which will be incorporated into a number of existing Legislative Instruments, including the Accountability Principles 2014; User Rights Principles 2014; and the Records Principles 2014. The information is also outlined in the DoH factsheet on unspent home care amounts. A summary of the process requied when a client leaves their home care provider is available here.
As identified in the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Increasing Consumer Choice) Principles 2016 and to be inserted into the User Rights Principles 2014, an exit amount is “an amount deducted by an approved provider in working out a care recipient’s unspent home care amount when the approved provider ceases to provide home care to the care recipient”.
An exit amount is a charge that a provider may deduct from a client’s unspent home care amount if the client has chosen to leave the Provider. It is not mandatory for a provider to charge an exit amount. There are a number of reasons a client may leave a provider’s care, for example they may be moving into residential aged care or they have passed away or they have decided to change providers. The exit amount has been established to allow providers to recover the administrative costs that are associated with determining and paying the unspent home care amount.
The process to include an exit amount into a Home Care Agreement will be slightly different before and after 27 February 2017, this information is summarised in the figures below.
Before 27 February 2017 (an exit amount cannot be charged until 27 February 2017) From 27 February 2017
Due to amendments made to the Aged Care Principles, which became effective in September 2016, providers will be able to start to include an exit amount in their home care agreements before the 27th February 2017, this process will require both consultation and consent from the care recipient. However, providers cannot charge this amount until the 27th February 2017 or later. The DoH will need to be notified of the maximum whole dollar figure no later than 24thFebruary 2017 via the ‘notification of home care maximum exit amount’ form for publication on My Aged Care on the 27th February 2017. The provider may negotiate with clients the amount included in their Home Care Agreement. Additional information on Home Care Agreements is available on the LASA website and on the DoH website.
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