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 …

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the devil wears….packages??

Amanda Priestly (The Devil Wears Prada): “Florals? For Spring?… Groundbreaking.”

Naturally we welcome the announcement of 14,000 additional Home Care Packages over the next four years, particularly at Level Four, however we are certainly not alone in stating that for aged services this is not ground breaking news. There is a lot more to be done.

The announcement as one of the budget showstoppers for aged care is underwhelming; and frankly alarming knowing that already 10,000 people a month are assessed by an ACAT for aged services and we currently have 105,000 people waiting for a home care package. Given the ageing demographic profile in Australia this is expected to increase exponentially over the next few years. We eagerly await the release of the additional 74,000 packages in 2021-22.

There however remains much opportunity for home based service provision; there is always an upside and opportunity for smart businesses.

In order to make sure you are in the best position to meet the needs of your market now is the perfect time to review your strategy and develop a plan …

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budget 2018: moving towards a consumer demand driven system – baby steps

The Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017 – the Tune Review, described that “there is a broad consensus shared by government and sector stakeholders that aged care requires further reform to become a more consumer-centred system. This includes orienting care and the supply of different care types around the demands of consumers, and giving consumers greater choice and control.”

Responding to this, buried on page 147 of 472 in the Federal Budget Health portfolio statement of May 2018, the Government announced that it ‘provides in-principle support for the transition of residential places to the consumer, pending a detailed analysis of the impacts of such a model.’ Reported by Rick Morton in the Australian newspaper today ‘the Government has allocated $300,000 to conduct an ‘analysis’  of the impact of unshackling residential aged care funding from providers and giving it straight to the people’.

This is a baby step in the reform process. The turbulence and disruption experienced during implementation of a consumer focused home care model and the transition of disability services to the NDIS model both provide valuable information for …

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home sweet home

HOME SWEET HOME The goal of older Australians is to remain living in the place they love and feel comfortable in – their home. The aged care reforms aim to support this by increasing the provision of Home Care Packages (HCP) and home based supports.

A GROWING SECTOR Australia’s ageing population and the policy reforms transitioning home and community based supports to a consumer focused market driven sector have created a rapid increase in the number of businesses that have become Approved Providers of HCPs. Strong interest continues. Motivation for providing HCPs varies. With over 100,000 people currently on the waiting list for a HCP there is strong demand for services creating the opportunity to establish a new business. For some businesses it diversifies their revenue stream, for others it ensures continuity of care for their client base and for others it may fulfil a commitment to organisational values.

INCREASED CHOICE FOR CONSUMERS The number of HCP providers has grown rapidly. In June 2016 there were 496 Approved HCP Providers; today there are over 800. This growth reflects the attractiveness …

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good returns on home care packages

PROVIDERS CONTINUE TO MAKE GOOD RETURNS ON HOME CARE PACKAGES Under the changes implemented in February 2017 Home Care Package (HCP), once allocated a package from the national allocation system a consumer has 56 days to choose their Approved Provider. Geographical boundaries for Approved Providers have been removed and home care is an increasingly competitive, market driven environment. Comparing a recently released report on HCP financial performance for Sept 2017 to the report same produced for December 20162 shows that top quartile providers continue to achieve good profit margins and have increased their direct service provision hours.

In Sept 17 top quartile Band 2 (provider income $30 to $50 per client per day) providers are making $4,967 per annum per package; an increase of 11.3% on the Dec 16. Nice work!

Although the average profit margin for top quartile providers of Band 4 (provider income of > $100 per client per day) packages in Sept 17 has decreased by 4.8% compared to Dec 16 this group of providers is making $11,683 per package per annum. Still nice work!

Responding …

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home care update

The competition in your home care market has just increased…significantly

During March 2017 the Commonwealth will assign over 11,300 home care packages to eligible consumers. These are the home care packages that were unoccupied on February 27 2017 and those that have fallen vacant since that time. The Commonwealth will continue to make packages available as they fall vacant.

Prospective recipients will be assigned a package based their relative need and time they have be waiting. Once assigned a package consumers then need to choose an Approved Provider.

This create a consumer focused market in which businesses compete for custom. The level of choice for consumers is overwhelming. In most cases, especially for those requiring a low care package, it will be their first interaction with funded aged care services. They will need to contact a provider directly and provide their ‘unique referral code’; alternatively they can request MyAgedCare to send an electronic referral on their behalf.

Home care – a very competitive environment

The traditional protected environment in which home care providers previously operated is no more. The changing …

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home care business plan template

In response to enormous interest in the aged care Home Care market The Ideal Consultancy has developed a business plan template for new providers to use as a guide to setting up a Home Care business.

The plan is provided as a fully editable Word document and guides the user through various elements of setting up a Home Care service.

The plan includes sections on:

business goals organisational structure your target market SWOT human resource considerations service delivery insurances, risk management and legal considerations (note Ideal does not provide legal services) operations sales & marketing financial considerations

Priced at just $1,650 this valuable resource is a great way to get you started and is useful in developing your application to become an Approved Provider of Home Care.

The Ideal Consultancy can also assist in applying to become an Approved Provider; contact us to discuss our fixed fee arrangement.

An order form for the Home Care business plan template is provided here: 000000 home care business plan order form

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home care reforms – a golden opportunity for the not for Profit Sector

With the right service model, carefully articulated value proposition, robust business processes, leverage of organizational strengths, and commitment to mission and values the not for profits are well positioned to thrive in the future home care package market.

early days

Aged care in Australia started with not for profit organisations supporting marginalized and destitute people (mainly men) in the early 1900’s. Until the 1950s aged care services developed through voluntary organisations with various religious and social philosophies. Many well-known groups such as the Uniting Church, Red Cross and Country Women’s Association were heavily involved in caring for and advocating for the needs of elderly people. These organisations were small locally based organisations with their own governance structure who established the services and supports that they thought best met the needs of their community at this time. Legislation between the 1950s and 1980s fostered the development of locally based private and not for profit care providers. From the mid-1990s there has been the growth of corporate aged care and in recent years consolidation in both the for profit and not for …

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home care changes stage 1

The Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Increasing Consumer Choice) Bill 2016 was introduced into Parliament on 11 February 2016.  The Bill gives effect to the first stage of the home care reforms announced by the Government in the 2015-16 Budget.

Subject to passage of the legislation, the changes in Stage 1 will commence on 27 February 2017. The Bill will amend the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Aged Care (Transitional Provisions) Act 1997 in three main areas:

Funding for a home care package will follow the consumer, replacing the current system where home care places are allocated to individual approved providers There will be a consistent national approach to prioritising access to home care packages through My Aged Care Arrangements for providers to become approved under the Aged Care Act 1997will also be streamlined.

The following table is an overview of the proposed arrangements from February 27, 2017.

planning and allocation ·     Funding for a home care package will follow the consumer, allowing the consumer to choose a provider that is suited to them and to direct the funding to that provider.

·     No further Aged …

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acar bootcamp webinar

Following the highly successful ACAR Bootcamp held recently the Ideal Consultancy is pleased to present the Ideal Home Care ACAR Bootcamp Webinar.

From the comfort of your office you can join in on our webinar series for home care providers seeking packages in the next Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR).

Over one hour the webinar will cover issues such as:

How to determine ACAR readiness What needs to be addressed prior to applying for Home Care packages What to analyse, how to analyse your market potentials Developing your kit bag – the essentials that you can bring together prior to an announcement Tactics for success – bringing your argument together

The webinar costs just $159.99 (inclusive of GST) and will be held on Tuesday March 24th at 11.00 AEST.

 

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