The hidden cost of disjointed financial views of the aged care customer

As the aged care industry continues to transform the onus on internal finance teams to navigate complex aged care operations intensifies. Consolidated billing that accommodates a range of third party services, aged care settings, government policies, and multiple databases and systems presents a challenge for even the most astute financial controller - and upholding a single view of customer financial records may seem as a near-impossible task.

Yet the aged care industry demands transparency and precision across all aspects – it’s a people-oriented, government-monitored sector with no societal boundaries. Whether for in-home aged care or an aged care facility, the business’s financial operations need to accurately incorporate all data sources and industry legislation.

The administrative burden is only one part of the cost equation

The administrative burden on aged care finance operations is a heavy one, particularly in relation to consolidated billing. Not only do finance teams have to reconcile data from multiple sources, they also have to juggle other ad hoc aspects (e.g. locating discrepancies and actioning customer enquiries). The resources needed to maintain smooth financial operations are extensive, but it’s the other less tangible costs that often have the greatest impact.

At a time when the focus on Australia’s aging population is amplified, including an increased focus on in-home aged care services, the need for a competitive advantage is greater than ever. Accurate, timely and clear customer billing, account statements and other financial information is critical to a positive experience with an aged care organisation.

Intangible costs can have the highest impact

In addition to resource-heavy administrative expenses, there are several other high-impact costs that should be considered by aged care businesses. These are the flow-on effects of systems which lack a single-view of customer financial information - and their impact is felt by the customers and staff of aged care organisations.  They include:

Customer service that’s remembered for the wrong reasons: Enlisting aged care services can be a stressful experience. Few of us want to face the consequences of an aging body and mind, and even fewer of us want to wrestle financial mishaps and misunderstandings in relation to this.
Frontline employees bearing the uncensored brunt: It is the carers that are most likely to hear first-hand about billing errors from an upset customer. This means they’re also more likely to encounter the unfiltered version. Not only does this place the employee in an awkward predicament, but it can also cultivate negative energy around the aged care brand.
Negative brand perceptions reduce market competitiveness: Word-of-mouth is known across industries as a highly influential promotional channel, and aged care is no exception. At a time when the industry is burgeoning in both supply and demand, stories of your business’s financial errors are not going to do your aged care brand any favours.
Unpredictable cash flows harm businesses: Often perceived as the ‘life blood’ of a business, incorrect and/or inconsistent billing can disrupt this essential funding flow. It’s all too easy to be caught out when trying to manually funnel a range of data sources, such as government databases, third party providers, and your own CRM and ERP systems.

Brand - and business - damaging outcomes such as these, associated with incompatible data sources and incorrect billing or statements, are what most aged care brands want to avoid. Yet such errors and pressures on finance teams are commonplace among aged care organisations. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

We have collaborated with a range of industry experts of create our Absolute Aged Care system – a solution that streamlines data from various data sources and enables a single view of a customer’s financial information. Absolute Aged Care helps to address incompatible billing issues, operates across multiple ERP platforms and has been specifically tailored to the aged care industry’s financial operations.

Would you like to know more? Speak to us today to see how we can help.