Aged care facilities across the county are being forced to draw on their savings just to keep going, according to the latest aged care survey from Stewart Brown Business Solutions.
The report examined the financial performance of a record 333 facilities over the 12 months leading up to 30 June, 2009.
The average total net result across the participating facilities was a loss of 35 cents per bed each day.
Stewart Brown’s aged care survey manager, David Sinclair said it was the first time in his memory that the average facility was eating into its savings.
“That doesn’t mean that they are not making a cash surplus,” he said. “If you have a write -back of depreciation and so forth, you can still be making a cash surplus but this is certainly not a good trend.”
Although high care facilities involved in the survey saw some improvement in operating results at the beginning of the financial year, they were unable to sustain the better outcomes.
The average net operating result for high care facilities was down $2.60 per bed day to a loss of $9.68. The average low care facility lost $5.97 per bed day.
Only 24 of the 110 high care facilities achieved an operating profit and just 88 of the 223 low care facilities managed to break even or better.
“The cost of care has been increasing at a greater rate than the income which is why results have been declining,” said Mr Sinclair.
“And administration costs and catering costs are the two other major non-care costs that have gone up.”