Great news! If you missed the webinar on February 14th, 2017 “Getting the most out of your Home Care Package” here is the full video recording. Stay tuned for upcoming webinars here.
Here’s the transcript of the Q & A:
Guest: Does my provider have to agree to let me use workers on Better Caring?
Peter Scutt: Providers have to put consumers at the centre and respect the fact that consumers have choice. But at the same time, providers are also governed by the Aged Care Act and Home Care Common Standards and their understanding of Consumer Directed Care. What that means to one provider can be different to the next. Some providers are really good at putting consumers at the centre. Other providers might struggle to adapt to the current environment. You may find a provider where, based on their systems and their view of the world, you might find it difficult for them to allow you to use Better Caring.
Other traditional providers have a full-service offering and a self-service offering, they will respond to you based on your preferences. Again, there is another set of providers, who provide administration but don’t actually produce services through their own workforce, they will be very supportive of you using innovative services like Better Caring. Bottom line is, ask your provider if they will support you with a self-direction option or being able to self-manage your care workers via Better Caring. If they at all resistant we are happy to talk to them. If they don’t offer this as a part of their offering to the market, we can talk to you about providers who do.
Guest: Will the service providers waive their admin fees if I use Better Caring?
Peter Scutt: They won’t waive it entirely because there is a cost involved in hosting and administering your funding. There will be a cost. What cost they’re charging really depends on how much they are incurring and how efficient they are. Generally speaking, if you’re doing more of the work, they’re having to do less of the work and we can collect payment very simply from them, they should be in a position to reduce their administration fees if you use Better Caring. Due to competition, providers are realising that they’re not going to get away with huge administration fees anymore. Providers will be more competitive and will lower their admin fees if you use Better Caring.
Guest: Can you please explain how I can port my package on February 27? My mother is with a provider but we are not happy with the hours she is getting.
Peter Scutt: You could start the process now by looking at alternative providers. You can’t actually port your package until after February 27th. As soon as possible you can start looking at providers who might be more suitable. You can call us now and we can talk to you about providers we know of who are in your area and will work with Better Caring – then you can start the process now to decide if you would like to port your package to them. If you decide you would like to, you can give notice to your existing provider, reactivate your code via the My Aged Care website and go through a process of entering a Home Care Agreement with your new provider. You can start creating an account on Better Caring, start looking at workers who might be suitable, to be ahead of February 27th.
Guest: Are there good independent case management services that exist already?
Peter Scutt: I came out of the financial services industry a long time ago. I always have this bias for advice that is independent or impartial. They used to say that you don’t want advice from someone who has a product to sell you. Usually, I’d be looking for a case manager who is independent from service delivery. It’s not to say that there aren’t full-service providers that have good case management services. But there is always a little more comfort when they’re independent. I would look for providers who are hosting funding and providing case management. Certainly some of the new entrants into the market. Now that they’ve introduced Consumer Choice, there are new providers entering the market who have a lot of credibility, lots of relationships with consumers and want to offer clients something new. There are also a number of good traditional providers who provide a full-service offering that would provide case management services as well.
Guest: I have been using BC and am really happy, but find not many workers available in Mid North Coast NSW e.g. Port Macquarie. Many existing working for providers are worried about enrolling with BC and offending provider. Should this improve with this new system?
Peter Scutt: Like any marketplace, we are more effective when we have more buyers and sellers. More consumers looking to engage workers and more workers looking to offer services. In places like greater Sydney, we have a really big depth of market we have lots of workers available and lots of consumers engaging workers. That extends up to Newcastle, Metro Melbourne, and parts of South East Queensland. It is no surprise that places like Port Macquarie, the market might be more in its infancy. With Consumer Directed care and the NDIS, we are expecting to see a lot more demand through Better Caring from people who are self-managing and choosing their own workers. That demand will provide a bigger supply of workers.
More and more workers have the confidence to do so as Better Caring gains more attraction. This type of marketplace is very common in other industries. Where choice and control is important, consumers and workers will find their way to Better Caring.
Guest: Is there a list of providers by area so we can research them?
Peter Scutt: My understanding is on the My Aged Care website there is a service finder. That will give you a directory of providers who are available in your area. I know providers are visibly filling out that information. What we can do, if you are looking for a provider in your area who can be progressive and supportive of you using Better Caring, ring us, we have a team of people who are helping consumers with the process of switching – 1300 73 65 73.
Guest: Better Caring is not widely known in South Australia. Do you plan on addressing this?
Peter Scutt: Yes we do plan on addressing this. We’re a company that is going through a lot of growth. We are trying to focus our efforts at the moment on building the marketplace in specific areas. As we gain more attraction in those areas we’re going to expand our efforts across Australia. In the near term if you are a consumer, what you can think about is who you may know in your community who you think might be suitable. You can go through that process of approving them and engaging them via Better Caring. Similarly, workers in a particular area have a greater ability to market themselves and the services they’re offering via Better Caring and bring consumers to the platform as well.
Guest: My package provider says that if we want to go with Better Caring the staff member will have to sign a sub-contract agreement with them. Is that true?
Peter Scutt: For some providers, they are developing a new approach. They’re all interpreting a new way to meet government standards and meet consumers’ right to choose. Some are more progressive in thinking through those issues and others are stuck in the old world. There are a lot of shifts going on. Some providers will allow their clients to use Better Caring on an understanding of how the platform works. Others have additional checks they’d like to put in place and we have had providers who wanted to enter an agreement. Some providers have a standard sub-contracting agreement that they might put in place with another organisation that’s 20 pages long. Other have a short two-page contract they’d like to enter into. There is no one answer. We are happy to speak to providers to talk to them about what they’re doing. Providers are often coming up with solutions that might work for their clients. They’re might be some scope for us to have some discussions with providers that might be in question.
Guest: How does the worker get paid? What about one-off jobs? At present our provider pays the person to clean gutters and charges us double!!
Peter Scutt: This is some of the realities of consumer choice, the services consumers need are very diverse. It is not realistic for providers to have workers for every situation, it is very difficult to fill individual consumers’ needs. Better Caring is all about bringing large volumes of people together. We would hope that from wherever place you’re from, you can find those diverse needs from someone from your local community willing to offer it. Workers state the services they’re willing to offer on their Better Caring profile and an indicative price. Alternatively, if you know a local gardener that you thought might be suitable to clean your gutters, you can ask them to sign up on Better Caring as it would make it easy for you to engage them through your Home Care Package.
Note from editor: Workers engaged through the Better Caring platform are paid through the platform directly. As a client, you pay the price agreed directly with the worker, plus an additional 5% Better Caring fee. (i.e. if you agree on 2 hours work for $30 an hour, you will be charged $66 total.) If you are paying directly, this is a simple credit card payment. Once the work is approved as provided by you, Better Caring passes the payment on to the worker. If you are paying through a provider who is hosting your package, Better Caring invoices the provider directly on your behalf.
Guest: Do we have any control or rights on Exit fees?
Petter Scutt: I know exit fees is on the government radar. I did hear from an independent consumer advocate recently that they thought exit fees would be capped at $350. We have not been able to verify this at this stage. I was at a conference last week where providers were there and with a show of hands some providers had no exit fees and others had anything up to $500 and one case $1,000. I suspect the government might want to cap exit fees and I know they will want exit fees fully articulated in the home care agreement.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Webinar! If you have any other questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.