Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Mar-Apl 2016 Contents supply of places for individuals when
they need such support.
"In our view, it is imperative that
deregulation of supply of home care
coincides with deregulation of providers
and that rather than have national
waiting lists, individuals can have
access to such services where and when
required," he says.
In terms of how Resthaven is
responding to the challenges, Norton says
the organisation is "exercising caution"
when preparing budgets and long-term
financial plans in relation to possible
variations to ACFI in the future.
"We need to understand how we
can flexibly employ staff in this new
deregulated market environment," he adds.
The provider is also reviewing service
delivery models and underpinning
technology to ensure efficiency, flexibility
and responsiveness in the delivery of
home care services to clients, he says.
"We are expanding the range of
choices available to residents and clients
and promoting a culture that places
greater emphasis on delivering what
residents and clients want and facilitating
their choices. Providing greater diversity
efficiently, delivering value in a price
More broadly, Norton believes the
LLLB measures have improved providers'
viability in the short term. But he cautions
that aged services have a high exposure
to ACFI and adjustment to the funding
instrument "has the potential to alter
Funding increases have consistently
remained below CPI and providers have
a long history of efficiency improvements
in response to this real funding
reduction, he says.
Norton also cites those providers
operating in isolated rural and remote
regions that have significant additional
overheads, which are not addressed in the
"These services are often provided
to older people with highly complex
needs -- cultural, lifestyle -- in difficult
circumstances where most inputs such as
labour and goods and services are more
expensive than those of a metropolitan-
based service," he says.
In home care, Norton says there is
merit in the announced alignment of the
Commonwealth Home Support Program
and home care packages from July 2018.
But, the transition of long-term clients of
the former Home and Community Care
program is of key importance and needs
early strategy identification, he says.
"The introduction of a national fee
policy in CHSP is a related need and there
are arguments to moving to this earlier
than is now proposed," he adds.
Reforms in the home care packages
need to include access to services when
and where required "and not be based on
a national wait list process as proposed,"
VIABILITY DEPENDENT ON
Matthew Hollins, CFO of TLC Healthcare,
says there are "abundant opportunities
for innovative and dynamic aged care
providers" driven by an unparalleled
demand curve for services in the medium
and longer term.
"The main challenge for our industry is
responding to the increasing expectations
of our customers, including higher
standards of accommodation and care
services. As the Baby Boomer generation
moves into aged care they will be bringing
with them greater expectations of their
living environment, services and levels of
care," Hollins tells AAA.
Referring to the highly regulated sector
aged care providers operate in, Hollins
says there is "downside in sovereign risk."
He says it is likely that the Federal
Government's fiscal constraints will impact
directly on aged care funding models and
rule changes could affect the financial
sustainability of the industry.
Discussing how his organisation is
responding to those challenges, Hollins
points to TLC's growth strategy which
includes expanding its scope of services
to become a multidisciplinary provider of
"The introduction of integrated
community healthcare hubs into our
residential aged care homes has not only
delivered a better service to our residents
and the local community, but also provided
an opportunity to diversify revenue streams
from complimentary services," he says.
The provider has also focused on
its core services, he says, identifying
and improving what it can do best and
outsourcing functions which are more
effectively and efficiently provided by
other providers, such as cleaning and
Asked whether the LLLB reforms will
ensure providers' viability, Hollins argues
that fundamentally the viability of aged
care providers is dependent on their
ability to meet customers' expectations
and deliver quality services.
"The LLLB reforms are part of what
will continue to be an escalation of user
pays principles for aged care services.
Further policy initiatives will be aligned
with those principles, as Commonwealth
Government fiscal constraints will be
tightened by social and demographic
drivers," he says. n
the home care
to include access
when and where
not be based on
a national wait
list process as
30 | MARCH -- APRIL 2016 | AAA
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