‘Support at Home Program’ sparks industry to undertake a structural realignment | Published Article
e-Tools steps in to assist providers navigate transformative industry changes. Learn about the multi-service care model & its importance going forward. Read our published article in HelloLeaders.
Published in HelloLeaders, May 2023. Please note: This e-Tools article was originally published just prior to the Government announcement of a deferred implementation date for the Support at Home Program of 1 July 2025. The information in this post is still relevant, however please take note of the deferred date.
‘Support at Home Program’ sparks industry to undertake a structural realignment
As a matter of good business practice, aged care providers should regularly assess, adjust and reposition their business model to maximise outcomes/goals.
The Support at Home Program (SHP) reforms initiative will commence in July 2024, aligning all help at home programs to a single program. This prompts providers to undergo a detailed review of the impact of the changes to identify issues and threats to mitigate and ascertain benefits and opportunities to maximise.
The Federal Government has been focusing on streamlining programs, managing funding differently and responding to public concerns regarding staffing and service levels but for providers, the net result will likely be higher costs, increased regulation, and tighter margins.
The identified home care ‘unspent funds’ and home support ‘unspent contract funds’ have highlighted to the Government that it should redirect unused funding to alternative purposes and impose more stringent controls over the individual cost of services.
To successfully manage the changed delivery model under the SHP, current business models need to be reassessed. Providers should consider the following:
- Is Support at Home the end of the amalgamation of services, or is it merely the beginning of more amalgamations?
- Given the greater emphasis on services being delivered in the community, rather than formalised care facilities, will SHP services be expanded?
- If so, what will be the impact on residential care, in particular occupancy rates?
- Will residential care need to change its business model to include SHP and possibly NDIS servicing?
- Should the relationship between residential care and SHP become seamless to allow those who need more intense services to transition easily from one service delivery model to another?
- Should client data move with the client across the care continuum, to make care needs, history, and preferences accessible, and to prevent loss of crucial information in the process?
Promoting Multi-Service Care Models
There are a wide range of synergies that can be obtained by promoting a multi service care model, either by providers directly taking up the delivery of other compatible care models or forming business relationships.
SHP and NDIS providers may have trouble expanding into residential care, due to the barrier capital requirements impose. However, they could consider expanding into residential care through business partnerships or other mutual support arrangements.
It is far less significant in reverse, if a residential provider chooses to expand into community-based services, as existing infrastructure should allow for such expansion.
Competing across a range of sectors can activate the following benefits for the provider:…