Some home care package providers are struggling to adapt their business models to be truly consumer directed and still operate service offerings that are largely menu-driven, an international conference has heard.
Speaking at the ACSA/IAHSA Joint International Conference on Wednesday, Nicki Doyle, a director in health, ageing and human services at KPMG, said Australia was still in its infancy in its CDC journey and service providers broadly fell into three groups in terms of CDC implementation.
The first group issued individual financial statements and facilitated some consumer involvement but there was no significant change in service delivery; the second and largest group offered more tailored services and some level of control over how and when services were delivered, but choice was mainly menu-driven according to what a provider could offer.
And the final and most advanced category of providers facilitated the consumer to direct how, when and by whom services were delivered, which involved access to a greater choice of care and services, including some brokered services.
Ms Doyle said poorer performing providers have tended to underestimate the scale of the transition required and focused on the financial aspects of CDC, to the detriment of other areas of organisational and cultural change.
Consumer engagement has also been weak among those organisations, she said.
“There are number of providers that have largely shifted over to CDC without seeing any impact or change in the types of services that they are providing. This reflects that their model is possibly not as CDC as they think it is,” Ms Doyle told the Perth audience.
“Under a consumer directed model there must be more choice about the nature and the range of services that are available.”
She said strong performing providers have taken a whole of organisational approach to CDC, continually revised their model, introduced multi-tiered care coordination levels and broadened their service offering.
“The home care market will change in response to new and emerging demands of consumers so that a greater range of services will be available,” she said.
KPMG conducted the pilot evaluation of CDC in 2011 and a final report on the programme is currently under consideration by government.
Further deregulation in home care
Looking towards 2017 when home care packages are allocated to the consumer, Ms Doyle said she anticipated a range of new entrants into the home care market including from other areas of the health and care sector as traditional service boundaries collapsed.
“In terms of giving effect to CDC, choice is being constrained by the market and opportunities and information being imparted by providers, but that power struggle will change in 2017.”
Doyle’s tips in preparation for 2017
- Reorient your services to have a commercial approach to service delivery and be clear about your customer base and their needs.
- Stand in the shoes of your consumers to understand their experience of service provision and recognise that consumers’ expectations have no boundaries.
- Focus the whole organisation on the consumer.
- Learn from other consumer-focused industries such as banking, insurance and telecommunications in relation to good customer service.
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