including ‘Capital Refurbishment’ Type Fees

The Government published on 2 September 2016 Information for Approved Providers of Residential Aged Care Homes on Charging Fees for Additional Care and Services in Residential Aged Care, including ‘Capital Refurbishment’ Type Fees.15

The Department considers that these provisions mean that providers are not able to charge fees above the maximum amount worked out under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth) (the Act) for services or activities that are part of the normal operation of an aged care home, or are required to be delivered as part of a provider’s responsibilities. Fees for ‘other care or services’ can also not be charged unless the resident receives a direct benefit or has the capacity to take up or make use of the services.

This differs from extra service fees that are charged for rooms within aged care homes (either individual rooms or across the home) that have been granted extra service status by the department.

Extra service fees are for higher standards of food, accommodation and hotel-type services, but not for care.

The Department considers that ‘capital refurbishment fees’, ‘asset replacement contributions’ and similar fees would not be supported by the legislation where the fee does not provide a direct benefit to the individual or the resident cannot take up or make use of the services, or where the activities or services subject to the fee are part of the normal operation of an aged care home and fall within the scope of specified care and services.