Over recent years the health industry has undergone enormous changes, both from a government policy and regulatory perspective, and more recently as a result of the emerging shift from health facilities being predominately charitable and government funded, to centres of care being part of an open marketplace where competition for the consumer dollar is high.
With the aging population spurring on such demand for change we have seen not only massive growth in the aged care, community and disability services, but a need for the industry to mature, to become more corporatized and to become a ‘marketing machine’. With all this change comes the need for a redirection in focus from a traditional medical model and traditional professional roles to a more holistic consumer centred approach with a greater emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach to care.
With recent changes to ACFI funding within residential care, and the ongoing uncertainty of future funding, there is an ever growing need for both aged care and allied health providers to look beyond traditional government funding for other revenue streams that can offer future sustainability.
There has been much hype surrounding the launch of community based funding such as the NDIS and the move to funded short term Reablement Programs which have transpired under the new CDC care model. There is also a great deal of speculation as to whether the rewards and profitability will be there in the end for many providers.
Michael Goldworthy from Australian Strategic Services states that those most likely to prosper in the new market will be those organisations whom have adequately read the market, undergone the necessary restructuring at an organisational and service level, have a dominant share of the market with increasing economies of scale, multiple revenue streams and strong brand recognition. Such organisations will need to meet the government and market requirements for an integrated health service to not just meet minimal standards, but to be catalysts for high quality care.
The future model of aged and community care is far from being well paved. This is despite the government centralising many of the assessment processes in an effort to streamline service provision and move away from being the prevailing funding for healthcare, leaving those that can afford to pay, paying their way.
This centralisation of assessment through My Aged Care and regional assessment services, however, has many providers worried. The up coming generation of service users has little to no loyalty to brand, and with the deregulation of the market place looming, further consolidation through sale, acquisition and merger is inevitable.
The question on many of our lips is where will these other desired revenue streams come from? The changing demographic of those entering our residential care doors will drive some of those services but it seems inevitable that as providers of care, there is a very real need to redefine our potential target market and become providers of either multi-focal services or become niche service specialists to a broader market in order to survive.
At Agestrong Physio, these changes have driven our committment to continually developing, streamlining and adapting our service offering to cater to demands from government regulations, facility requirements and most importantly existing and emerging resident needs. We constantly work towards being a robust, consistent and quality driven enterprise in the aged care space, and we both hope and expect that this approach will pay dividends in the coming years.