Home care’s financial performance stagnates as staffing challenges bite into profits: StewartBrown – unspent funds top $1.7B

Published on

Home care providers have seen their operating result decline to $4.80 per client per day from $6.05 in FY21, as staffing shortages impact on direct care hours and provision of services, StewartBrown’s latest Financial Performance Survey highlights.

Staffing hours have marginally increased from September FY20 to 5.62 hours, with a slight rise in direct care hours to 3.96 hours.

StewartBrown Senior Partner Grant Corderoy stressed that this was not related to the quality of service delivery, but rather reflects the difficulties in finding staff to deliver services, which in turn impacts on revenue and care delivery.

“This is a red flag,” he summarised.

Revenue utilisation also plateaued at 85.8% of available package funding, with greater revenue utilisation for higher level HCPs – when lower-level recipients would typically be expected to use more funds.

Grant (pictured) pointed out the average Level 1 home care recipient receives around $9,000 in funding but has around $5,000 in unspent funds – meaning over 50% of their package is not being utilised.

Even more dire is the state of unspent funds, which have increased again despite the growing number of HCPs to $10,117 per recipient for a total of more than $1.7 billion.

While the Government’s movement to payment in arrears for home care means these funds will now sit with Services Australia, the overall findings indicate that a large proportion of package funding is not being utilised for care.

Yet another sign of the need for substantial funding reform.

You can watch Grant’s presentation on the results here.