The new Home Care reform has been delayed until July 2025. With the go-live date now two years away, there is a danger of home care providers seeing this major date change as a reason to cease or delay preparations and strategies for reform readiness and organisation renewal. For many providers, there is still plenty to get done! Now! and this extra 12 months enables their limited resourcing to focus on critical projects such as workforce, digital transformation, corporate & clinical governance, service efficiency and client experience. These priority areas are not relying on the detailed design of the new home care program to commence or progress. 

So what can Home Care providers specifically work on?

Workforce: Workforce shortages were noted as the most significant challenge in Home care in our 2023 Home Care Provider Outlook Report. There are a number of projects home care providers can focus on to improve addressing the workforce: reviewing their recruitment process, timeframes, and job seeker experiences, building industry partnerships to strengthen the flow of job seekers, improving onboarding and staff retention strategies, and enhancing their voice of the employee program to ensure they are listening to their workforce and improving their experience, loyalty, and retention.

Digital Transformation: After conducting our 2023 survey, we discovered that 60% of Home Care providers reported that their home care IT platform is not meeting their needs, while 8% reported not having one at all. The opportunity for Home Care providers to modernize their service delivery and offerings to clients and staff is through a digital transformation strategy. Considering the technology needed at the point of care, apps, and portals for clients and staff, a well-considered and planned digital strategy takes significant focus and resourcing, with projects that can take the full two years to implement and embed. Further to this, there is the opportunity to explore assistive and smart home technologies’ role in supplementing and enhancing service offerings and care outcomes.

Client Experience: The new regulatory framework discussion paper has indicated the intention of opening up the home care marketplace to sole traders and partnerships, which in regional and metropolitan areas, will see a significant increase in competition. This competition, together with the future introduction of Star Ratings in Home Care, will make it a priority for providers to ensure they have a strong consumer brand, and their client experience is strengthened. The opportunity is now to gather insights from your current clients and carers on the pain points and moments that matter to them and to identify opportunities for improvement and innovation. This will inform the priorities for your digital transformation strategy and can include projects such as developing customer journey maps and voice-of-the-customer programs that enable providers to listen to customers daily to improve service quality and offerings.

Cost Efficiency: With the proposed introduction of activity-based and set pricing, undertaking a costing study to develop and monitor accurate unit costing for the services provided is a critical first step. Understanding the true cost of delivering each type of service (e.g., personal care, 30 minutes of domestic services, etc.), for each geographic location you service (cost to deliver personal care in Tweed Heads compared to Lismore, for example). Understanding the drivers to cost and identifying cost-saving area initiatives that can deliver more competitive pricing. These projects may involve considering workforce flexibility, reducing subcontracting, building client numbers within certain localities to minimize travel distance and time, reducing inbound/outbound calls, and finding administrative efficiency through technology and client portals and apps.

Corporate and Clinical Governance: The revised quality standards, provider governance legislation, clinical indicators, and future minimum training requirements are dictating the need for our Board and Clinical Governance systems to be reviewed, renewed or enhanced. This includes reviewing the operations and membership of the board, code of conduct, reporting and documentation, training, skills audit, constitutional reviews, training programs, and, where necessary, the establishment of advisory committees and related reporting processes.

The list above is not exhaustive, just a taster of the types of transformation projects that can Home Care Providers have the opportunity to progress now, improving organisation sustainability and setting Home Care providers up for success in 2025.

Enkindle is running a specific CHSP /HCP online forum on the 30th of May to unpack the federal budget and the Department’s reform webinar, and to work through possible next steps for providers. Please click the link below to register.

CHSP/HCP Provider Forum: Where Do We Go From Here? Budget & Reform Unpacked
Tuesday, 30th May 2023 | 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm AEDT via Zoom
Register now: