Sensible Care CHSP Fee Policy
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) is one consolidated programme providing entry-level home support for older people who need assistance to keep living independently. This Fee Policy has been created to provide a standard framework (promoting equality) for Sensible Care to collect a contribution towards client care. The framework allows for a flexible approach on a per client basis that also considers financial hardship. The fee schedule is subject to change.
Sensible Care recognises its legislative and contractual requirements in relation to the setting, implementing and reporting of client contributions for services delivered under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).
The purpose of this policy is to move towards a nationally consistent approach of financial sustainability for the provision of services from the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), to ensure the consistency of contributions so that clients who can afford to contribute to the cost of their services do so, while also providing safeguard arrangements for those financially disadvantaged clients experiencing hardship.
This policy applies to clients that have been approved as eligible and referred to receive supports from the Commonwealth Home Support programme and to all employees, volunteers and contractors that are involved in providing supports from the program’s services.
CHSP is the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
Client Contribution is the fee the client pay to Sensible Care for the services provided under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
Employee is any person who is employed by Sensible Care.
- Consistency: All clients who can afford to contribute to the cost of their care should do so. Client contributions should not exceed the actual cost of service provision.
- Transparency: Client contribution policies should include information in an accessible format and be publicly available, given to, and explained to, all new and existing clients.
- Hardship: Individual policies should include arrangements for those who are unable to pay the requested contribution.
- Reporting: Grant agreement obligations include a requirement for providers to report the dollar amount collected from client contributions.
- Fairness: The Client Contribution Framework should take into account the client’s capacity to pay and should not exceed the actual cost to deliver the services. In administering this, providers need to take into account partnered clients, clients in receipt of compensation payments and bundling of services.
- Sustainability: Revenue from client contributions should be used to support ongoing service delivery and expand the services providers are currently funded to deliver.
All clients are briefed on Sensible Care’s CHSP Fee Policy prior to service delivery. Clients will be given at least 30 days notice of any changes to the Fees Schedule and or Fee Policy.
- No client will be refused support if they are unable to pay fees.
- In assessing, setting and charging fees, Sensible Care at all times respects the rights of clients and carers.
Invoicing and Payment Methods
- Clients will be invoiced monthly.
- Payment options include Direct Debit, Credit Card or Electronic Transfer (Direct Deposit) on a monthly basis and in arrears.
Our Responsibility to the Client
- We will ensure that fees are determined in a way that is transparent, accessible and fair.
- We will provide invoices and statements that are clear and in a format that is understandable.
- We will review fees on request when there are changes to financial circumstances.
- We will not deny care and services because of an inability to pay fees.
Clients have a responsibility to
- Pay any fees as agreed or arrange for an alternative with Sensible Care if any changes occur to their financial circumstances.
- Provide enough information for Sensible Care to determine an appropriate level of fee.
Sensible Care will apply the CHSP Client Contribution Framework principles
- Payment of fees that contribute to the cost of CHSP support is only sought from clients who have the capacity to pay.
- Our Fees will not exceed the actual costs of service provision.
- Clients who do not have the capacity to pay will have their fee reduced. A Hardship Application form is to be completed and approved by Corporate to determine the reduced fee. The agreed fee is to be included in the Service Plan.
- If the client’s financial situation changes, the client should contact Sensible Care and arrange for a review of the agreed fees.
- The client must inform Sensible Care if they have received (or are receiving) a compensation payment, which is intended to cover some or all of the costs of home based care. Sensible Care will then assess if the full cost of the service/s is applicable.
- Where a service benefits two CHSP clients, only one client will be asked to contribute. For example, Domestic Assistance provided to a couple for one hour; only one client will be charged for the hour service.
- Where client transport is provided as part of the service, any tolls and parking fees are the responsibility of the client.
- Sensible Care's Fee Policy is made publicly available. It is accessible in electronic and hard copy, and is explained to all new and existing clients.
Non-Payment of Fees
- If a client fails to make payments and is in arrears of over 30 days of the due date without prior arrangement, Sensible Care will contact the client to discuss the reasons for non-payment.
- If a client is not paying the required fee, Sensible Care will review their ability to pay. Depending on the circumstances, a number of fee payment options may be considered, including the client paying the outstanding amount in instalments or reducing it.
- All reasonable attempts will be made by Sensible Care to arrive at a mutually agreed fee with the client. The client will be made aware of their right to appeal any decision, and use the services of an advocate.
- If the client still fails to pay the agreed outstanding amount, a written reminder will be issued, requesting payment within 30 days. Once all avenues have been explored, Sensible Care's Corporate Manager will decide how to manage the debt. If ability to pay is not an issue, the organisation may notify the person that services will be withdrawn. If payment is still not made within a total of 45 days of the original due date, services can be ceased at the discretion of Sensible Care. The client will be informed in writing of Sensible Care's decision and will have their right of appeal explained to them.