An interesting article on the front page of Saturday’s Age (January 2nd 2016) written by Tom Allard – “Aged care slides, profits soar”. The industry has undergone a huge amount of change in the last 2 years and the changes are still on going. We have seen 3 aged care companies listing on the stock exchange for the first time with more rumoured to follow. We have seen a total restructure of how fees are charged and how much facilities can charge for accommodation payments and there are more to come. We have seen changes to thresholds and reductions in the number of exemptions for the tax portion of the aged care fees meaning we are moving to a more user pays paradigm. We have moved to a more transparent industry that over time will be dictated to by the market. While facilities come to grips with the changes and re-evaluate their current residents and while also planning for the new residents I’m not surprised that errors are being made. It is my understanding that the errors are on both sides, that is some residents ACFI’s are too low so the facility is under claiming. Whatever the reason we are in the midst of total reform and as each part is rolled out everyone will continue to adjust.
From my perspective as I tour around facilities both large and small, both profit and not for profit I see building works, updates, refurbishments, I see new activities programs, new interesting menus. Yes there are some places that are doing the wrong thing this happens in any industry but in general facilities are meeting the market expectation and delivering quality services as they care for an ever growing frailer clientèle. If in doubt ask questions of current residents, staff and the professionals.