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Home care faces financial setback: Quarterly Snapshot

A new report into the aged care industry has highlighted the contrasting financial performance of Australia's residential and home care services. 

Yesterday, the Health Department published its second Quarterly Financial Snapshot (QFS) of the Australian aged care sector from October to December 2022. 

While residential aged care saw a $7.66 per resident per day increase in financial performance, home care experienced a decrease of $1.41 per care recipient per day.

These findings provide initial insights into the impact of the new AN-ACC funding model on the sector.

"The overall increase in the financial performance of the residential sector is a direct result of the introduction of AN-ACC," the report read.

Both for-profit and not-for-profit home care providers returned a yearly net profit before tax of $138.5m, translating to $3.59 per care recipient per day. 

This represents a decline of $1.41 per care recipient per day compared to the September 2022 year-to-date results.

The percentage of profitable home care providers decreased to 73.8 per cent, down from 78.4 per cent reported in the previous quarter.

In residential aged care, the report revealed that the average care time in facilities increased by two minutes, reaching 189 minutes per resident per day. 

This included 139 minutes provided by personal care workers and 35 minutes by nursing staff, each seeing a one-minute growth compared to previous data.

Aged care homes are expected to provide 200 care minutes, including 40 nursing minutes, by October 2023. 

The care time is projected to increase by an additional 15 minutes, including four nursing minutes, in the following year. 

During the final quarter of 2022, 13 providers left the sector, while only two joined.

The figure contrasts the previous quarter, which saw two departures and two new additions.

In home care, 18 new providers entered the industry, while two providers chose to exit.

This is a slight decrease compared to the preceding quarter, with 21 new entrants and 15 departures.

The Albanese government recently came under fire from the Opposition for allegedly exacerbating pressures on providers through rushed decisions on staffing requirements. 

Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care Anne Ruston specifically pointed to Labor's reform, which she claimed led to the closure of at least 17 aged care facilities.

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