Staying competitive during sector reform

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Reforms to disability, aged and home care are putting many service providers under stress as they adapt to changes whilst maintaining high quality service delivery. The Community Health Program in Victoria will also be impacted, with the community health block funding model under review and likely to also become competitive client-centred care packages. Demographic trends across Australia, including strong growth in outer urban areas and declining populations in some rural and remote areas, are also impacting the market for disability and community health organisations.

The changes to government funding arrangements are giving clients more control.

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Evidence suggests client-centred care in a competitive environment improves quality and lowers costs. Many providers want to implement organisational change but they are already under immense pressure. We are also finding that organisations are less likely than in the past to collaborate, because their systems and processes need to be protected to maintain their competitive ‘edge’.

In this competitive environment, it’s crucial for organisations to focus on:

  • defining and understanding their market
  • creating, monitoring and reviewing their marketing strategy
  • seeking and responding to client feedback (both individually and organisationally), which can lead to service reviews or offering entirely new services, sometimes with new partners
  • building and maintaining an agile and positive staff culture
  • efficiency.

For example, investment in organisational culture and workforce development is critical on the road to reform[1] and disability providers have identified information and communication technology (ICT) as the business capability area they need to improve the most.

Larter is committed to helping organisations and providers adapt to change and thrive amid uncertainty. We have in-house consultants with experience in service planning, social research, building business cases and health economics; and we have built a network of other consultants with a wider range of skills. For example, we’ve written tenders to seek funding to assist organisational transition (e.g. Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program grant applications); facilitated strategic planning; evaluated new models of care; and we are currently undertaking a feasibility study for new disability and aged care services.

Contact us if you’d like to talk about strategies to help your organisation transition during this period of major reform.

[1] https://www.nds.org.au/news/state-of-the-disability-sector-report-2018-now-available