Home' Community Care Review : CCR May-Jun 2015 Contents SPONSORED FEATURE
to change that by putting care workers in control of their schedule and
reducing the cost through care worker and clients self-scheduling."
Organisations brokering out their care services are using Better
Caring's rapidly expanding database of qualified and insured
workers to help them flexibly manage and provide tailored solutions
for their clients. By hiring independent care workers directly via
the Better Caring platform, they reduce their oncosts as well as the
cost of care for their clients, whilst gaining detailed reporting and
transparency on the care services being delivered.
The platform has a calendar function for clients with details of
their care schedule. It provides reporting on each care shift delivered
as well as allocated hours, payments and account balances. The
care worker has a dashboard to manage and record case notes their
clients. It's a mobile friendly site, so easily accessible on the road.
Scutt says while some familiarity with technology and use of
the internet is an advantage the Better Caring platform is no more
complicated, and probably easier, than using Facebook. We offer
a concierge service to give assistance for initial help if needed.
"Technology is bringing people together who might not have been
easily able to find each other previously and we have developed a
platform to make this happen."
Better Caring started developing the technology two years ago.
It was launched officially in December 2014 in Sydney and the NSW
Central Coast to consumers through local networking and selective
promotions. The company also met with leading industry advocacy
groups who were very supportive of innovative models delivering
choice, transparency and cost savings. While this was a judicious
reach initially the company is now increasing its marketing strategy to
create a greater awareness of the Better Caring offering and take what
was learnt from the Sydney launch to a national offering. Melbourne
and Victoria are next, with people already signing up in Brisbane,
Canberra and Wagga Wagga. A number of innovative organisations
are expressing a keen interest in partnering opportunities too.
A NEW LOW-COST MODEL
And just what is the worker profile for those interested in the
Better Caring model?
According to Better Caring chief operating officer, Jane Floyd,
these could be staff already working in aged care facilities seeking
a more flexible offering. Others may not be working in the industry;
it may be a mother wanting to work during school hours, a retired
nurse or a family carer who has finished their care experience and is
looking for a way to re-enter the workforce.
"Better Caring is opening up the world of caring to a wider
section of the community who want to work flexibly in their local
area and at times that suits them. Being able to make a difference
in a person's life also, makes this an attractive option for many
people," Floyd says. The concept goes a long way towards solving
the increasing demand for care in remote areas where there is often
only one home care provider, she says.
Better Caring operates its business on very low margins, so
that the savings can be shared by care workers and customers. It's
free for care workers to sign up and build a profile. It's also free
for customers to search care workers. It's only when a customer
engages a care worker that Better Caring deducts 10 per cent off the
care worker's hourly rate, while the customer is charged a 5 per cent
service fee. These charges also cover the cost of insurances that
have been arranged on behalf of care workers.
Floyd says with many providers often charging $40 to $50 an hour
during the week and $70 to $80 on the weekend; it's a cost many
consumers and the government cannot afford.
"Some workers prefer to work weekends
and we find that somewhere between the
client price and the worker payment a happy
medium is reached that suits both parties.
The outcome is a win-win: clients can afford
more hours of care which often means they
can employ the worker for longer hours."
The aged care and disability sectors
are ready for change, she says, and until
now funding models have favoured the big
operators and organisations that receive
government funding. But under CDC and
NDIS consumers can now make choices
and in effect, have the option to self- direct
or self-manage their support. As she reads
it, consumer demands become greater
when they are empowered with choice and
While Scutt acknowledges this
innovative approach to home care might
not suit everyone, Better Caring does offer
people choice, particularly for those who
want to take control of their support. Many
people will be more comfortable with the
traditional model, but they need to be
informed enough to know they are getting
value and the outcomes they want.
"Also there are providers who broker all
their services out to private agencies. We are
a complementary service offering for these
providers. We can enable them to offer their
clients' choice of care workers while lowering
the cost of care, meaning their clients can
afford more support," he says.
THE BEGINNING OF A
NEW MOVEMENT IN
One of the sector's biggest challenges is
the ongoing workforce shortages which
inhibit Australia's ability to meet increasing
demands for high quality aged care and
disability support. Floyd says traditional
organisations operating in these sectors
have struggled to attract and retain workers
largely due to the relatively low pay rates
and lack of flexibility offered to care workers.
"Better Caring's community of care
workers is independent and self-employed
and they set their own fees and working
hours. As such they are highly motivated
and offer a contingency workforce solution
for organisations seeking to manage
fluctuations in supply and demand, and
High turnover is less likely to happen
with the Better Caring option because care
workers are in control of their business and
24 | MAY 2015
Links Archive CCR MAY 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page