In June 2014, ACFA engaged RSM (known as 'RSM Bird Cameron' at the time), in association with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), to study the qualitative and quantitative factors influencing and associated with the variable financial performance of different residential aged care providers.
In undertaking this project we considered the industry through the lenses of ownership, location, size and level of care (resident care profile), then overlayed these factors with an analysis of financial and other metrics.
We were particularly mindful that industry input was essential to the study’s results and findings, so we designed the qualitative survey in collaboration with DSS, ACFA, residential aged care providers, and industry peak bodies including Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA).
ACFA established the Finance and Accounting Advisory Group to enhance our analytics approach and provide feedback on the reporting process.
The study and this report both focus specifically on factors influencing providers’ financial performance. RSM and PwC acknowledge that the aged care industry is very diverse and different providers deliver very distinct financial outcomes. Providers make implicit and explicit choices and trade-offs regarding the care and services they provide – including where and to whom they provide care and services, how much they charge residents (permitted within legislation) and how they participate in and contribute to their local communities. As such, financial performance is only one of a number of measures we can use to assess providers’ overall performance and outcomes. There is no doubt that providers would rank differently if measured by other, non-financial metrics.