Another week of auditing monthly statements of Government Subsidised Home Care Packages for clients who are wondering if they should transfer their Home Care Package to Daughterly Care Community Services.

This week I discovered another three Approved Providers who charge secret undisclosed fees of 10% pa to Elderly in home care clients. 

This unethical behaviour has to stop.

Elder getting ripped off by Old-School Approved providers

Don’t take my word for it – let’s examine this actual de-identified Approved Provider Monthly Statement together. The full statement is below plus we have magnified the relevant parts.

Old school Approved Provider Home Care Package statement

Firstly, this Old-School Approved Provider is an Australian Faith-based Charity. I mention that because the average person like me, would normally automatically believe they can trust a Faith-based Charity to be ethical and morally right in the way they treat Elderly people.

See here, it says the Administration fee for administering the Government Subsidised Home Care package is 20%pa. Here it is magnified:

Administration fee from Old-school approved provider statement

And see here …they state in writing to our Elderly client that their Case Management Fee is 0%. Here it is magnified:

Old school approved provider case management

That is an outright lie.

Let me show you why.

See here under the heading “Weekly External Services / Purchases” it says the Daughterly Care fee is $784.30 and then it has six characters “+CM fee”.

Old-School Approved Provider added case management to external care provider

Those 6 characters don’t make sense to most Elders and their busy adult children who help advocate for them.

Let me tell you what is really happening.

My client, like all my educated intelligent clients, has not picked this up – and that’s exactly what the Old-School Approved Providers are banking on – you, not picking up their slight of hand.

The purported Daughterly Care fee is NOT what we charged the Charity Old-School Approved Provider for the care of our client.

No, our actual fee has been increased by 10%.

Why?

Well see this code “+CM fee” that’s code for “plus 10% Case Management Fee charged by the Approved Provider, hidden in the Daughterly Care fee”.

So the Old-School Approved Provider has inflated the actual Daughterly Care fee by 10% and called it “+CM fee”

Why have they HIDDEN THEIR 10% Case Management fee inside the external care supplier’s fee.

Simple.

Because they can.

They don’t want to be transparent and disclose to their client their true fees in their expenses section on the Monthly Home Care Statement.

Why be transparent and honest and state you charge 20% for Administration and 10% for Case Management when you can hide your 10% Case Management Fee inside an artificially inflated care provider’s fee?

Because they can.

Older people have rights under consumer directed care

Photo source: Unsplash

I don’t know why so many Approved Providers are choosing to be deceitful in their accounting and reporting practices to their Elderly Clients.

But what I do know is this:

1. It’s against the Government’s Home Care Package Program Guidelines which states in Clause 3.2.1. “The Home Care provider is the fund holder and will administer the budget in a transparent manner, meeting quality and accountability standards.”

Home Care Package government clause 3.2.1

The Government Guidelines also say, “All information must be provided in a format that is simple for consumers to understand.”

The fact is that the Government has gone to a lot of trouble to ensure that Elderly people get a Monthly Statement that is transparent and easy to understand.

I’m sorry, but saying your Case Management Fee is 0% and then hiding a 10% Case Management Fee inside the external care provider’s fee – that is NOT transparent and “+CM fee” is not “easy to understand”;

2. Daughterly Care did not agree to this deceit. We did not agree to having our fee inflated to enable a secret commission to be collected in our name. We discovered it when helping our clients make the right financial decision; to stay with their Current Approved Provider or move to Daughterly Care;

3. Secret commissions are against the law;

4. It’s unfair and it’s frankly un-Australian to take advantage of vulnerable Elderly Australians in this way. It’s an abuse of power.

5. It is false and misleading to state that your Case Management fee is 0% and then hide an undisclosed secret case management 10% fee in the external care provider’s fees;

6. If Elderly clients, and their adult children and grand-children, don’t stand up and say “no” to this unethical behaviour – it will continue. It is already widespread amongst Old-School Approved Providers.  I have discovered over 10 Approved Providers charging 10% more in fees than they disclose.

If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I would not believe it of an Australian Charity Approved Provider of in home care.

And I don’t expect you to believe me without seeing it with your eyes either, that’s why I included the de-identified statement in this blog.

And now that you have seen it with your own eyes, you need to stand up and put a stop to this…vote against secret fees now on the poll below.

Tell me your views, is stating you have a 0% Monthly Case Management fee and then hiding 10% in the external supplier’s fee ethical? Is it taking financial advantage of Elders? Is it financial abuse?

Please forward this blog onto your friends and family, and ask them to vote.

Daughterly Care does not charge secret fees and we will continue to educate and empower Elderly consumers and their adult children about unethical practices… because we want Elderly Australians to be treated better than this!

Elders rights with Home Care Packages

Photo source: Unsplash

Kate Lambert CEO of Daughterly Care the best In Home Care provider in Sydney

Kate Lambert
B.Ec F.Fin

Daughterly Care CEO & Co-Founder