Case Study- Niola Centre, Parkes, NSW

Beds 40: Aging in place

Services Started: October 2009

The Problem: The Niola Centre had many cash distractions for staff.  Despite its size, the reception spent up to half their working time managing the cash for residents. In addition to the obvious risks around  keeping in excess of $5,000 in a safe, on site, when the receptionist was unavailable, lifestyle activities virtually stopped, as other staff could not manage the complexities of the cash management.

An independent review also found the facility was of marginal viability, being regional, small and having a very high overhead expense structure.  Consultants recommended Capital Guardians.

What we did

  • Firstly, we created a strategy for the facility to implement a no cash policy. This eliminated the risk around cash handling and maximised staff care time
  • Subsequently, residents accounts were created, families were given logins, vendors were invoiced directly and paid weekly. Debit cards implemented for residents who were independent and needed cash
  • As a result of Capital Guardians, the reception staff now found themselves with 2-3 days per week additional time, and consequently took on a shift rostering role from the registered nurse
  • Thus, the registered nurse was able to spend time on documentation and maximising funding opportunities

Today

  • The reception-based job descriptions have subsequently changed to include more operation- based tasks
  • There is no cash held at the facility, lifestyle organisers use a Capital Guardians debit card for outings and can charge small amounts via a mobile phone to top the card back up. There are no other financial administration efforts.
  • There has been a significant turnaround in the business viability as staff are able to focus on documentation and funding maximisation for existing residents.
  • We have a local bottle shop as a supplier, dropping off Friday afternoon drinks and billing via our application
  •  The local pharmacy are also billing via Capital Guardians
  • The facility lolly trolley has seen a big uptake in sales now residents can “put it on the account”

Case Study- Churches of Christ: Oak Towers, Oakley, Victoria

Beds: 44 – High Care 90 – Low Care     Services Started:  February 2011

The Problem: 

A 134-bed facility south of Melbourne needed a system to manage petty cash for residents.  This money was for lifestyle benefits such as outings; hairdressing, podiatry, newsagency expenses, taxi’s, pharmacy and facility reimbursements for accompanied visits to the doctor.

There were a number of suppliers providing these services, which were not consolidated or easily transparent for the facility or residents Power of Attorney (POA) as the head office would on-bill these with resident fees, without the detail (i.e statements) or audit trail.

 

What we did:

  • We initiated the Capital Guardians financial change procedures. Firstly, the facility invited all residents and their family to an information session regarding the changeover and new policy regarding management of personal resident funds
  • We received registrations by families (and residents), and a lump sum of money from the facility, to start the opening balance of the Capital Guardians accounts
  • Vendors were trained to invoice Capital Guardians
Oak Towers Today:

  • Many suppliers invoice through Capital Guardians.  The services from these suppliers include: hairdressing, pharmacy, podiatry, newsagency, dry cleaners, taxi services, beauty therapist, health products, and spectacles
  • Vendors have found Capital Guardians a very simple system to use and they get paid weekly
  • Vendors no longer need follow-up with families regarding unpaid bills
  • Families never lose a pharmacy statement; a printable pdf statement is always available with the family simple login
  • Users like the fact that all the suppliers are connected and all the invoices are in the one spot.  The facility also use our system for reimbursements if they take a resident to a doctor’s visit on behalf of their family
  • Feedback from families’ and vendors is that all financial information is transparent and accurate
  • Oak towers staff have nothing to do with personal expense management anymore, implementing Capital Guardians freed up time and energy to focus on a very successful lifestyle program
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Case Study- Uniting

Location:NSW  Beds: 7,000  Services Started:2015

The Problem: As well as being one of Australians largest owner and operator of care homes, Uniting covers many businesses in childcare, aged care, homecare, disability.

Uniting finance department was overloaded with hundreds of thousands of resident personal invoices, they were effectively, doing the vendors accounting for free, spending management time on external account queries and disputes and guaranteeing all their account payments.  Significant write-off of bad debts was a regular occurrence.

 

What we did

  • First of all, we implemented an organisational project with Uniting to rollout the service in seven regions over nine months in six-week intervals.
  • Ran family presentations, informing of change, and trained all vendors onto billing direct via our online platform.
  • Offered debit card alternatives to cash for independent residents who could no longer access cash from the facility reception.
  • Gave residents who didn’t think they would use the account much, a fee free account (avoiding the $3 monthly account fee & opting to pay 4% surcharge if used).

Today

  • Four full time head-office staff were redeployed to different areas, as there was a significant decline in demand for accounts payable.
  • Facility management were no longer required to authorise and administer personal transactions, increasing time spent on lifestyle and care.
  • Adding lifestyle opportunities to the facilities, with our integrated debit card, consequently lifestyle managers were able to go on outings and pay for groups, and split the cost via our mobile app, without any administrative responsibilities.
  • Entertainer accounts have been added, thereby allowing us to pay all the entertainers, they invoice via the app, facility managers approve online, and they are paid weekly
  • Finally, the organisation identified potential bad debt issues for vendors before the delivery of services, as the initial direct debit fails.  Payment plans and structures can be organised prior to provision of services.