The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis are being felt on every level – but for those in aged care, this event brings an extra layer of challenge and risk.
As carers for some of the nation’s most vulnerable, the aged care sector requires support and assistance to not only survive this crisis – but also to build for the future.
This page has been created to provide a hub for aged care providers to find information and resources to assist them through this critical time.
We are rapidly developing resources and information to share with aged care providers – including webinar sessions and business tools. This page will be updated with this information on an ongoing basis.
We welcome your suggestions on other information that you would find helpful. Please get in touch via the form below.
Tools aged care providers can use to help streamline staff and customer communications
In this webinar, Bentleys’ Hasi Samaratunga and hayylo Co-founder Greg Satur join forces to talk through tools and strategies you can use right now to quickly and effectively upscale your communications tools and strategies to keep your community and care recipients connected and informed at this crucial time.
Government financial support
Updated 12 May 2020
The Government has announced financial support packages for aged care providers, totalling more than $850 million, including:
One-off $900 payment per resident in metropolitan aged care facilities
One-off $1350 payment per resident in regional aged care facilities
Funds focused on helping providers manage costs incurred from the pandemic, including daily staff and visitor screening measures at facilities and added expenditure on PPE, which has become increasingly expensive with high demand
New payment expected to be paid by early June through Services Australia.
$234.9 million for a COVID-19 ‘retention bonus’ to ensure the continuity of the workforce for aged care workers in both residential and home care
This will mean a payment of up to $800 after tax per quarter – paid for two quarters – for direct care workers
Two payments of up to $600 after tax per quarter – for two quarters – for those who provide care in the home
Payments will be delivered to providers to pay their workers and part-time workers will be paid a pro-rata rate
$78.3 million in additional funding for residential care to support continuity of workforce supply
$26.9 million for a temporary 30 per cent increase to the Residential and Home Care Viability Supplements and the Homeless Supplement. This includes equivalent viability funding increases for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program providers, Multi-Purpose Services and homeless providers
$92.2 million in additional support to home care providers and organisations which deliver the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, operating services including meals on wheels. This will include services for people in self-isolation such as shopping and meal delivery
$12.3 million to support the My Aged Care service to meet the surge in aged care specific COVID-19 enquiries, allowing for additional staff to minimise call wait times
COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program – Federal Grant
Updated 21 April 2020
Support for approved Residential Aged Care, NATSIFACP and Home Care providers directly impacted by COVID-19.
$52.9M grant funding available. A facility may claim a base amount of $20,000 per facility, plus $2,000 per operational place.
Available for any eligible expenditure from the Trigger Date (first in-facility test for COVID-19 – earliest Feb 2020), and the End Date (no infected or isolated residents, clients or staff – latest May 2021).
Award of grant agreements is paid as a single amount on the success of your application (up to 4 weeks from submission date).
The Business Improvement Fund (BIF) provides support for residential aged care providers who are concerned about their sustainability, especially those at “risk of failure”.
There is $48.7million in funding aimed at providing financial assistance to residential aged care providers who are experiencing financial difficulty and have limited access to funding support. The grant has specified that it will prioritise rural and remote providers and those impacted significantly by the bushfires earlier this year.
Funded activities are those which:
improve your business, for example to restructure business operations and upgrade financial management and IT systems
transition your business to a new provider
close down your business in a safe and orderly manner and transition residents to other facilities (where there’s no other option)
Providers can access (generally) up to $7,500 per operational bed (or double that in the case of a sale), and there is no requirement for matched funding.
The Fund assesses applications on receipt, so we recommend applying as soon as possible.
Rolling quarterly financial forecasts will help you to understand the ongoing implications of COVID-19.
This will help you make critical decisions around scenario planning – particularly around revenue, costs and working capital.
How to approach using your COVID-19 Financial Model:
Key variables (e.g. occupancy, revenue levels (e.g. ACFI, extra services/additional services), staffing, RAD levels) should be tested under various scenarios. What is the impact on operating and financing cashflows with a 10, 20 or 50% change?
Ensure key outputs from your business continuity plans are reflected in your forecasts.
Outputs of scenario testing should be used to assess the risks and develop action plans.
Stakeholders should be engaged and notified of assessed vulnerabilities.
Targets and KPIs are revised at this time, based on the outcomes of forecasts.
Beyond the immediate and critical health risks, COVID-19 creates significant financial sustainability risks for aged care providers.
These risks include:
outflows of refundable accommodation deposits (e.g. RADs, Bonds) in the event of resident mortality; coupled with
restrictions on admission of new residents. (The NSW Department of Health has already recommended restricting the admission of new residents to protect both existing and incoming residents. This restriction could mean admitting residents to one wing only, or closing the facility to new residents entirely.)
This may leave providers exposed to risks around prudential requirements and occupancy vulnerabilities.
Potential mitigants for liquidity risks:
Discuss the set up/extending of lines of credit, unsecured loans or bank overdraft facilities with your financier for prudential requirements or working capital relief.
Consider the relief options offered by financial institutions (e.g. loan repayment deferrals for up to 6 months, interest rate reductions for small businesses).
Actively monitor/nurture your waiting list in light of COVID-19 impacts.
Develop new forms of communication and scheduling using technology.
Review and cease any non-essential spending. Review formal approval processes for spend over a certain threshold (e.g. $500).
Contact suppliers to discuss extended payment terms.
While rolling quarterly forecasts will allow you to understand and scenario test COVID-19 impacts, it may be critical to also maintain weekly cashflow forecasts to more closely monitor risks to liquidity over a 12 week period.
If the risk of trading insolvent is a key concern, be comforted that Legislation has been relaxed so Directors will not be personally liable for insolvent trading where debts are incurred in the ordinary course of business. We will continue to update this page as more information comes to hand.
Contact your local Bentleys advisor for further information. We are doing everything we can to help businesses come out of this challenging time in good shape.
Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and should not be relied on as advice. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs and seek professional advice before making any decisions based on this information.