The latest government financial report shows the sector’s revenue has improved.
Published by the Department of Health and Aged Care, the Quarterly Financial Snapshot for April to June 2023 shows – at $5.25 per recipient per day – the home care sectors’ bottom line has risen $1.60 on the previous quarter ($3.65).
“When the Albanese Government came into office, the aged care sector was hurting from a lack of investment and innovation, but in just 12 months there is now an optimistic outlook for the financial future of the sector,” Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells said in a statement.
However, overall, the year-to-date percentage of profitable home care providers more less stayed the same during Q4 at 74.7 per cent (74.5 per cent the previous quarter).
Analysing staff minutes, the report shows the median total was 53.95 minutes per care recipient per day, a fraction less than the previous quarter. Data for enrolled nurses has not been included as more than 70 per cent of home care providers did not report any EN expenditure.
Median total staff costs for the period was unchanged from quarter 3, at $45 per care recipient per day for the sector.
The snapshot now also reports on workers’ wages. This will allow the department to monitor the implementation of the 15 per cent pay rise on 1 July to ensure it is being passed on to workers.
The home care sector median lowest and highest hourly rate was $43 and $53 for registered nurses, $33 and $38 for enrolled nurses, and $28 and $35 for personal care staff.
This was the second quarter to include data reflecting the reduction of administration and management charges in the Home Care Packages program. From 1 January 2023, care management was capped at 20 per cent of the package level and package management was capped at 15 per cent.
There was an increase of $230 million of unspent funds in the total home care accounts as of 30 June 2023, while provider-held unspent funds reduced by $80 million.
The department continues to acknowledge the impact of Covid-19 on the aged care sector, including on the potential financial position of providers during this quarter. For the period April to June 2023, the department approved approximately $158 million in reimbursements through the Covid-19 Aged Care Support Program Extension Grant – an increase from approximately $142 million of reimbursements during Q3.
For-profit and not-for-profit home care and residential care providers are the primary provider type included in the quarterly financial snapshots. The reports draw upon data collected through My Aged Care and other internal departmental sources.