The role of the NTPF
The NTPF has been designated by the Minister for Health pursuant to Section 40 of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act as a body authorised to negotiate with proprietors of registered nursing homes to reach agreement in relation to the maximum price(s) that will be charged for the provision of long-term residential care services to Nursing Homes Support Scheme residents. As part of this function, the NTPF will enter into "Approved Nursing Home Agreements" with registered private and voluntary nursing homes to record the maximum price(s) that have been negotiated. The NTPF will provide the HSE with the details of all Approved Nursing Home Agreements.
Further information about the Nursing Homes Support Scheme is available on the Department of Health and HSE websites
Application Process for Nursing Homes for inclusion in the Nursing Homes Support Scheme
1. Contact NTPF at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details to hand: Nursing Home Name, Nursing Home Address, Nursing Home email address, Proprietor name & contact telephone number
2. An application form is available from the NTPF. The following information will be required as part of the application process: Business plan / Prospectus, Copy of registration with HIQA, Tax clearance certificate
3. Once the application form and any requested additional documentation have been received an account manager will be in touch to arrange a visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Fair Deal Scheme?
The Fair Deal (The Nursing Homes Support Scheme) came into effect on the 27th October 2009. It replaced the previous system of public nursing home charges and the private nursing home subvention scheme. The intent of this scheme is to make residential home care for older people more accessible, affordable and anxiety free, by removing inconsistencies which currently exist in the system and improving the role the State plays in delivering and meeting the costs of this care.
What is NTPF's role?
The NTPF has a specific remit within the scheme which is to negotiate prices with private and voluntary nursing homes on behalf of the State. As part of this function, the NTPF will enter into pricing agreements with registered nursing homes. The NTPF in turn will provide the HSE with the details of pricing agreements to be included in the scheme. The NTPF's role does not include setting standards for Private Residential Facilities or the assessment of individuals for the purposes of determining their eligibility under the Fair Deal Scheme.
Can the NTPF negotiate on behalf of a resident or family?
The function of the NTPF under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009 is solely to negotiate prices with private and voluntary nursing homes. Residents of nursing homes or their families, who have a query regarding the operation of the scheme should contact the Health Service Executive at 1850 24 1850
What is the role of HSE?
The role of the HSE will include liaising with applicants, assessing their eligibility for the scheme and determining financial co-payment arrangements between nursing homes and individual residents, and disbursing State payments to private nursing homes. Further information is available from www.hse.ie
What is the role of HIQA?
HIQA will set nursing home standards and will inspect facilities to ensure that these standards are being met. Further information is available from www.hiqa.ie
Any queries from nursing home residents or their families concerning this scheme should contact the HSE helpline number 1850 24 1850
What is the deed of agreement?
The deed of agreement is the contract between the nursing home and NTPF specifying the maximum price that the nursing home can charge Fair Deal residents for long-term residential care as defined in the deed. These prices are fixed for the term of the deed.
What happens if any conditions in clause 5.2 of the deed of agreement occur?
If any of the conditions in clause 5.2 of the deed of agreement occur it will trigger a termination of the agreement. However, this does not preclude the parties from entering into another agreement which may continue the existing agreement under the same or changed terms and conditions.
What is the effective date of the deed of agreement?
The deed of agreement will specify the commencement date and the expiry date of each deed.
Is there any possibility of the prices offered to us by NTPF being actually reduced in the future?
Prices agreed will be fixed for the term of the deed of agreement. At the end of the agreement term a new process of negotiation on pricing will be entered into with the nursing home and all issues, including price, will be open for discussion and agreement.
What form of information will be made available by the NTPF to our residents and their families regarding the Fair Deal scheme?
The NTPF will only be dealing with nursing home owners and managers for the purpose of agreeing a maximum Fair Deal price. Residents and families should be advised to contact the HSE on low call 1850 24 1850 or their web site www.hse.ie for information on the scheme.
Will prices be negotiated annually?
The NTPF will contact each nursing home to agree a Fair Deal price for a further term prior to the expiry date of a current deed of agreement.
What factors do NTPF take into account in agreeing Fair deal prices?
The following guidelines are taken into account in negotiating prices; (a) costs reasonably and prudently incurred by the nursing home and evidence of value for money, (b) price(s) previously charged, (c) local market price and (d) budgetary constraints and the obligation of the State to use available resources in the most beneficial, effective and efficient manner to improve, promote and protect the health and welfare of the public.
What happens if price negotiations break down between NTPF and the nursing home?
The NTPF Review process will apply as follows
The Department of Health, through the Health Service Executive (HSE), supports long-term residential care services through the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Fair Deal) pursuant to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act, 2009 (the Act).
Under Section 41 of the Act the National Treatment Purchase Fund Board (NTPF) is the designated body to agree maximum Fair Deal prices with private and voluntary nursing homes.
The objective of the NTPF is to agree a price with each nursing home that offers value for money to the State having regard to the following criteria:
Negotiations are the responsibility of a nominated NTPF Account Manager. He/she will contact the home before the expiry of the existing deed (where applicable) setting out the information required for the purposes of price negotiations and the timetable for the provision of that information. The Account Manager may also make supplemental requests for information.
The following process shall apply during the review:
What happens to my existing deed if agreement cannot be reached before the expiry date?
In the interest of the existing Fair Deal residents in the nursing home normally a temporary deed of agreement will be offered so as to provide time for ongoing negotiations and to facilitate the Review process should this be necessary.
What happens if negotiations are inconclusive or if the nursing home decides not to participate in negotiations / review process?
If a nursing home decides not to engage with NTPF in negotiations or in the review process NTPF will formally write to the nursing home and confirm the date from which the home will no longer be an 'approved' nursing home in respect of the Fair Deal scheme and will set out the implications of this position. NTPF will also advise the HSE of the effective date that the nursing home will no longer be an approved nursing home for the purposes of the Fair Deal scheme.
What happens when a resident's care needs change?
There are no provisions to review prices once the deed has been executed. Prices are fixed for the term of the agreement.
How can a new nursing home apply to be included in the scheme?
Where a new nursing home opens up and wishes to participate in the Fair Deal scheme they must first register with HIQA and hold a current tax clearance certificate. They should then contact NTPF and an account manager will be appointed to enter into negotiations regarding the maximum price chargeable for Fair Deal residents. See section "Application Process" on the NTPF website.
How do the NTPF intend to address HIQA standards during price negotiations?
Price negotiations will be based on current operating conditions at the time of the negotiations. The NTPF price agreement covers the provision of Long-term Residential Care Services as defined in the deed. Changes in operating conditions as a result of new regulations or standards will form part of the discussions at the time of the price negotiations. However, once agreed prices will be fixed for the term of the agreement.
Is this scheme just for people over-65?
No, the legislation does not make a distinction on age grounds.
I have a specialist Alzheimer’s unit; will the negotiations take account of this?
The existence of a specialist unit may be included as part of the discussions at the time of the price negotiations.
What happens if I make a mistake in the information submitted to the NTPF?
Negotiations will be based on the forms returned by the nursing home and will be the subject of meetings between NTPF representatives and the nursing home. If a material error is discovered this can be addressed at such meetings and time given to reassess the proposals. If a material error is discovered after the agreement has been executed this can be resolved through the Dispute Resolution provisions of the deed, by mutual agreement.
What is the Whole Time Equivalent?
The Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) is the ratio of the total number of paid hours in a period divided by the standard number of hours for that period. For example, if you have five people working part time at a rate of 50% (i.e. 20 hours out of a standard 40 hour week) the WTE (number employed) is 2.5 people (5 x 20/40). If you have 5 employees working part time at 60% of standard hours (i.e. 24 out of a standard 40 hour week) for eight months of the year then the WTE is 2 (5 x 24/40 x 8/12). The ratio is intended to establish the number of full time employees.
Do I need a Tax Clearance Certificate?
A current Tax Clearance Certificate is required.
Why is confidentiality necessary?
It is normal business practice for confidentiality to be maintained between contracting parties on a need to know basis, other than as may be required by law, court order or any governmental or regulatory authority.
Is the NTPF subject to Freedom of Information acts?
The NTPF undertakes to use its best endeavors to hold confidential any information provided by the nursing home as part of its negotiation procedure, subject to its obligations under law, including, in particular, the Freedom of Information Acts 1997-2003 (as amended). Should nursing homes wish that any information supplied by them as part of this process not be disclosed because of its commercial sensitivity or confidentiality or otherwise, they must, when providing this information, clearly identify the specific information they do not wish to be disclosed and clearly specify the reasons for its sensitivity. It is not sufficient to include a statement of confidentiality encompassing all the information provided in the response.