New aged care reforms being introduced on February 27th, 2017 will hand greater control to consumers and place increased obligation on aged care providers to better understand their customers.

Consumers now wield the powerful sword of choice, and truly grasping what that means will be critical to outperforming competitors.

Aged care is going through a deregulation of sorts. The composition of aged care providers has seen a shake up in the past 10 years. For-profit suppliers have increased their market share by 5.3%, while religious suppliers have seen their market share fall by 4.6% during this period. The aged care industry is becoming much more competitive, and with for-profit providers entering the fray, competition is set to get even more aggressive.

With an intense competitive environment comes the need to stay one step ahead and identify where your competitive advantage lies. The days of regimented meal times, inflexible visiting times and lifeless residential care facilities are coming to an end. It has never been a more important time for aged care providers to understand their consumer.

So what changes are imminent and what do they mean?

No more ACAR
Aged care packages will no longer be allocated by the Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR), which provides government grants to suppliers. Instead, these packages will be allocated to the consumer, effectively deregulating the sector. This will allow for greater competition within the aged care industry, encouraging innovation and more efficiently matching aged care consumers with products.