Please read below for the full letter from HCC regarding FNC changes:
Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) is one of the very few local authorities who continue to pay residential providers net of the client contribution. This means that the provider has to invoice the service user to collect their contribution.
The decision has been taken to pay residential providers the full standard cost of residential payments from 1st April 2017 for existing placements, and from 1st January 2017 for new placements. This payment will not include any additional funding such as a Third Party Top ups or charges for extras (such as hairdressing etc.), the provider will still need to recover these funds directly from the service user.
The decision has been taken as it is seen as a way to better support providers, ensuring even cash inflows and lessening the administrative burden of invoicing and collecting the client contribution.
Service users and their financial agents will be receiving a letter during December 2016 setting out the changes and instructing them to only pay client contributions to the providers directly up to 31st March 2017. After that date the service user will be invoiced by HCC and should make payment to HCC for their contribution. A contract variation notice will also be provided setting out the requirements for payment of the client contribution.
If you receive any payment made by a service user or their agent to a care home for a period for which HCS is collecting the client contribution you must refund this payment immediately.
HCC are also one of the few remaining local authorities to pay the FNC element of the care cost for placements in nursing homes and then recover funds from the CCGs (HCC only do this for homes within Hertfordshire). The decision has been taken to cease this practice from 1st April 2017. From 1st April 2017 providers will be required to invoice the CCG directly to recover the FNC funding. The Hertfordshire CCGs have been advised of this change.
A variation to contract will be sent out to you in February 2017 formalising these changes to the treatment of FNC and client contributions. .
Between now and 31st March 2017 the current individual contractual requirements will remain in place, however for new service users placed from 1st January 2017, the individual service contract will show that HCC will be invoicing the service user directly for their client contribution.
When care home placements are discussed with service users they will be informed that the preferred and easiest method for payment of their contribution is to set up a direct debit. No funds will be taken from their account before the invoice is generated and any amendments to the contribution, for example when a reassessment is carried out each year to take into account benefit changes, will be notified in advance of the charge.
Direct debit forms will be sent to the service user when they receive the contribution notification letter from HCC.
If there is a third party top up this will be continued to be invoiced by the care home provider and the third party should make payment to the provider not to HCC. Any extra charges for additional items will continue to be charged by the provider and should be paid by the resident directly to the provider. You will need to review existing direct debit agreements to reflect this.
We would like to remind care home providers that under the terms of our contract third party top ups and extras can only be applied or varied by agreement with the HCS team who placed the resident.
If you have any queries about the above information please get in touch with Ted Maddex via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ted Maddex, Commissioning Manager for Older People