Consumer Directed Care – The Essential Puzzle Pieces
Competitive pricing of your services
Implementing the right systems
Employing the right staff
I am often asked, especially by new Home Care Providers, “How do I price my services?”. Easy answer, based on your costings including your desired margin, taking into account what the competition is charging.
If you don’t know your costs, you might not be in business very long.
COMPETITIVE PRICING OF YOUR SERVICES
There are so many different ways of charging for your services. Here are some examples:
Administration charge – some are charging a percentage of the package, some aren’t charging this at all.
Case management – some are charging a percentage of the package at varying levels depending on the package level, some are charging a base fee combined with an hourly charge for anything over the base service and some are charging a weekly flat fee based on the package level.
Internal services, e.g. your own personal carers/domestic staff charged out at an hourly rate + on-costs + margin
External services, e.g. supplier charge + % on top to cover administration.
IMPLEMENTING THE RIGHT SYSTEMS
This is easier to get right if you work backwards from what you need to track and what reporting you want to provide. This includes:
Providing the consumer with a Home Care Agreement, Care Plan, Service Schedule and Budget to get started and a monthly Statement showing the balance of their Unspent funds
Capturing of government funding from Medicare and billing consumer daily fees and income tested fees to be included in the consumer’s monthly statement
Rostering internal staff and scheduling external supplier services to be integrated into your Payroll to pay staff and capture the expense in your financials and also show on the consumer’s statement, leaving an Unspent Funds balance.
Impacting your organisation’s financials and reporting back to the government on an annual basis.
EMPLOYING THE RIGHT STAFF
Regardless of what pricing you apply, and what systems you use, it will be your staff that ultimately determine whether your consumers have a positive experience and stay with you or move to a competitor. Your staff are your single greatest marketing tool for promoting your service and creating a loyal client base – and hopefully one that will provide those critical word-of-mouth referrals.
Getting staff recruitment and retention right will be fundamental to ensuring your consumers are happy. Studies show that employees leave their employer for reasons that organisations have control over – such as lack of performance feedback, a poor relationship with their supervisor, the role wasn’t what they understood it would be, or the organisation was unsettled and negative.
Addressing workplace issues and ensuring your staff are feeling valued and recognising their contributions will ultimately translate into a happy workforce and a happy client base. Get this right, and equip your employees with the right tools to do their job efficiently, and you will be much more likely to win new clients through positive word-of mouth-marketing.
If you are interested in seeing a demonstration of Care Collaborator – specialist cloud based software developed to complete the on-boarding process at the initial consumer visit – please contact Debra Ward at Care Collaborator via the web page: www.carecollaborator.com.au, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile 0438 020 728.