Home care profit margins down as unspent funds continue to rise: StewartBrown

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The latest StewartBrown data has shown a fall in profit margins for Home Care Package providers, with unspent funds likely to exceed $1.9 billion.

In the 12 months ending March 2022, StewartBrown reports that though Package numbers increased from 43,210 to 52,202, average profit margins fell 1.8% from around 8% to 6.3%. Additionally, each client now has an average surplus of $4.29 per day, while revenue utilisation has dropped to 85.5% of available funding, and unspent funds have jumped to $10,690 per care recipient.

“As with residential aged care, staffing remains the most crucial concern, and this coupled with a complicated regulatory environment has seen the financial performance stagnate,” the report reads.

Average staff hours per client per week have dropped from 5.51 as at March 2021 to 5.31 in March 2022, with direct care hours dropping from 4.04 to 3.73 per client per week.

According to StewartBrown, urgent reforms need to be considered, including regulated consumer co-contributions for Home Care Packages and CHSP based on ability to pay.