Challenging times in a rapidly changing Home Care market

Growth in package numbers & growth in client complexity

This week brings the release of 10,000 home care packages in response to the Aged Care Royal Commission Interim Report. The packages will be predominately high care; and will tip the proportion of high care packages to over 50%. Skilful business planning is required to ensure a provider is well-positioned to maximise this growth opportunity.

The growth strategy needs to accommodate both an overall growth in service volume and high growth in demand for high care packages. The skill base, knowledge, technology platform, workforce, equipment and governance model need to be revised in transitioning to caring for a higher volume of clients and a higher proportion of frail older people with complex needs.

It is not a case of just doing more; each provider must reshape their care and service model to support and increasingly frail elderly cohort of older Australians who now have the option to remain at home.

An increasingly competitive market place

Since 2016 the number of Approved Providers of Home Care Packages has more than doubled. Private providers have significantly grown their market share. At 30 June 2016 Private Providers had 8182 packages; 10.4% of the market share. By 30 June 2019 this had increased to over 23,000 packages; the private provider market share had grown to 20.9%. The number of packages operated by religious providers had shrunk and all other provider classes have had some growth.

Plenty of older Australians still needing packages

The number of older Australians waiting for a Home Care Package remains reasonably static; between 30 June 2018 and 2019 there was an overall reduction of just under 2000 older Australians waiting for a Home Care Package at their assessed level. The waitlist for high care packages decreased by over 20,000 people however the number of older Australians waiting for a Level Two package grew by over 16,000.

Where to from here?

The wait list situation remains unacceptable, especially for those older Australians and their families who face a wait in excess of 12 months to receive the supports they desperately need to remain at home.

The Government will be forced to continue to look to address the unacceptable wait times through further release of Home Care packages while a more sustainable solution for supporting older Australians is devised.

Except to see further growth in package volume and growth in the complexity of care and supports required. In this period of turbulence as the sector needs to develop the skills and infrastructure and grow the workforce to meet the growing demand for home-based supports.

Now is the time for providers to review operating models and plan for future growth to ensure they are well positioned to be competitive in a rapidly growing and changing market place.

In periods of change and turbulence gathering insight can be very challenging because providers are dealing with more immediate concerns and risks.

If you want to look critically at where you are at, build the foundation for the future, understand your appetite for change, analyse where you are at in the market place and create a vision for the future The Ideal Consultancy welcomes your call.