“Understanding the financial sustainability of your organisation’s health can take many forms. For example compiling the Aged Care Financial Report for the Department, drafting a budget or planning a capital improvement project. The end of the financial year represents a time for organisations to do any or all these things.” says Ty Fisher, Data Management Analyst at Mirus Australia.
Each activity comes with its own set of challenges and successfully meeting these challenges is dependent on a couple of things. Firstly, reporting on performance from the past year(s). This may include quantum and trend analysis of ACFI subsidy, occupancy, accommodation revenue, and capital position.
Secondly, forecasting for the next year or even the next three to five years. This means forecasting revenue and aligning costs, which is a multifaceted project requiring input from several datasets. Medicare data, revenue and claiming data, resident invoicing, area demographics, supply and demand are all valuable data-sets in assessing performance, completion and the current climate for business, specifically as it relates to aged care.
Aggregating Medicare payment items can be done easily with the right software however further analysis of claiming patterns and resident’s needs requires a specialised tool. Accurately forecasting an organisation’s sustainability and capacity for growth requires review and understanding of capital, cash flow including exposure to validation risk and localised supply and demand.
Budgeting and planning require a strategy and facility-level targets for resident acuity, staffing, room pricing, RAD/DAP ratio, supported-resident-ratio and respite utilisation. All of these targets can be determined through analysis of the available data. More unknown environmental factors like political and economic forces can have broad implications but usually happen in consultation with the industry.
Adjusting forecasts and strategies can be an ongoing activity provided there is adequate technology to measure and report on performance. Some providers are able to thrive following legislative changes while others may unfortunately struggle. One major factor that dictates an organisation’s ability to adjust its course based on results is the technology they have in place.
Platforms for rostering, Medicare claiming, sales and marketing must generate high-quality management information, ensure compliance and mitigate risk. Cashflow, capital and the overriding factor of occupancy are all a result of the decisions made by interpreting these datasets. Even high performers are striving to find gains. Those performing well in the areas mentioned will have a competitive advantage and with continuous improvement may continue to improve significantly.
We can help you ensure the accuracy and improve the depth of your reporting and importantly help you better understand your data for meaningful actions. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your new financial year goals and how you will measure and monitor performance.