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Insights into current industry challenges

Vivir Healthcare is committed to providing quality and consumer focused aged care workforce solutions

There are many challenges and opportunities for aged care providers in this time of significant industry reform, writes Natalie Francis.

The Aged Care Quality Standards introduced on 1 July, ongoing royal commission, recent workforce taskforce review and upcoming funding changes resulting from the Resource Utilisation Classification Study are just a selection of the industry changes underway.

Remaining present and proactive is essential to thriving in this market. One thing is certain across all markets in flux; innovate or fall behind.

Agile providers are emerging and facing these challenges head on. Not only bedding down their clinical governance frameworks to demonstrate the Aged Care Quality Standards, but also planning for the future and the implementation of the new aged care funding system and how these can work together.

There are many organisations still coming to terms with these changes and how they will impact their overall strategy. The latest StewartBrown report states 45.06 per cent of residential aged care homes reported negative operating result (EBT) at March 2019.

Aged care providers need to deliver services that are valuable to their consumers and should evaluate themselves in this regard against outcomes that are important to consumers to remain competitive in the market.

Whilst services are generally funded under the Aged Care Funding Instrument as they relate directly to care requirements, such as the pain management program, there will be no such provision under the new funding scheme. This will create opportunity to be innovative with offerings.

All aged care organisations need to partner with innovative businesses in order to collaborate and implement solutions that address the needs of their consumers. It’s important to remain in line with the quality standards but also allocate resources and funding effectively to remain financially viable. This offers the opportunity for reduction in cost of care.

The RUCS report states there is a clear incentive for high-quality services as there is no requirement for providers to request reassessment. Therefore, it is in the provider’s best interest to deliver reablement interventions to reduce ongoing care costs

Vivir Healthcare has 20 years’ experience in allied health and workforce solutions to the healthcare sector and a passion and focus on quality outcomes and consumer directed care. We are currently investing into evidence-based research to support the development of services aligned with the strategy of our clients through our Client Solutions team.

Vivir Healthcare is Australia’s leading healthcare provider of workforce solutions to the residential aged care sector and is proud of our commitment to quality outcomes and consumer directed care.

My role has been created to partner closely with our valued clients and look for the opportunities in this time of change.

Our strengths lie in navigating complex situations and utilising our expertise in managing risk, whilst respecting the consumer’s right to take risks. Our people place consumer choices at the centre of service delivery so that they are enabled to live the life they want.

A focus for this year is developing allied health reablement and wellness programs to ensure allied health continues to be a valuable part of the skill mix in residential aged care. Vivir is currently investing in evaluating allied health programs that measure quality of life and cost of care.

There is scope for each provider to develop and tailor an Allied Health Workforce Solution, to meet the needs of their consumers and ensure quality of life outcomes are improved and services are delivered in a cost-effective manner. We are also partnering with universities to undertake some of this research across quality of life measures and with older people living with dementia.

Please share with your colleagues to raise the importance of placing consumer views at the centre of service delivery. Keep an eye out for more updates on our progress with Vivir’s solutions.

If you’d like to learn more about Vivir’s services, please contact us on 1300 184 847.

Natalie Francis is national client solutions manager at Vivir.

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