The amount of unspent funds in Home Care Packages – the amount received that has not been spent on a person’s care – has risen to in excess of $9,906 of unspent funds per package, according to the StewartBrown December 2021 Aged Care Financial Performance Survey.
StewartBrown Senior Partner Grant Corderoy said the total of unspent funds overall is still likely to be in excess of $1.7 billion.
The Morrison Government’s proposed funding reforms and improved payments arrangements are intended to reduce the impact of unspent funds. If the Support at Home Program is introduced in July 2023, the impact will not be apparent until a full financial year has elapsed.
The survey found that the profits made from Home Care Revenue Bands 2 and 3 have increased to $3.32 (from $3.28 six months earlier) and $5.84 ($4.33) respectively. Band 4 has had a significant decrease in profitability yet still makes the most profit for a provider, with an operating surplus of $6.32.
Home care revenue utilisation (the amount of funding where services have been delivered) also has improved in the December 2021 six-month period across all Package levels. Band 1 is 82.6%, Band 2 86.9%, Band 3 89.3% and Band 4 88%.
“Providers should be ensuring that they charge an appropriate fee for services provided (not reduce price primarily to increase number of clients),” said Mr Corderoy.
The number of hours staff spent with clients per week fell slightly (despite a rise in revenue) and Grant said COVID-19 was the likely reason.