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  1. Australian Unity Annual Review 2019
  2. Platforms

Independent & Assisted Living

The Independent and Assisted Living (IAL) platform operates retirement communities and provides aged care, allied health and disability services. The platform offers preventative health and chronic disease management services through a wholly owned subsidiary Remedy Healthcare, and direct healthcare services through dental clinics. These businesses are interconnected, seeking to deliver a continuum of care and service that addresses the daily needs of its customers.

Financial performance

Independent & Assisted Living financial result Full year to 30/06/19 $million Full year to 30/06/18 $million Variance
Total segment revenue $469.4 $422.7 11.0%
Operating expenses $421.2 $426.0 1.1%
Adjusted EBITDA $48.2 -$3.3 n/a

The IAL platform recorded total segment revenue of $469.4 million for the full-year representing an increase of 11.0 percent compared to the prior corresponding period (2018: $422.7 million).

Home & Disability Services (HDS) achieved a 13.3 percent increase in revenue to $305.7 million, Health Services was in line with the prior year at $37.2 million, Residential Communities decreased 8.9 percent to $100.4 million while Developments increased 359.4 percent to $26.2 million.

IAL’s adjusted EBITDA of $48.2 million represented an increase of $51.5 million on the prior year. This increase reflected the continued focus on improving the sustainability of the HDS business.

Home & Disability Services

The HDS business grew revenue by 13.3 percent in the year under review, driven predominantly by a 87.7 percent increase in home care packages revenue and a $5.4 million or 6.3 percent growth in Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) revenue, including growth funding tendered for and won during the year. Approximately 3,700 care workers served more than 54,000 customers across NSW, Victoria and Queensland. In total, the HDS business delivered 3.8 million hours of care across 31 HDS branches, five Aboriginal Home Care (AHC) branches and 85 office locations.

The HDS business made considerable progress in its financial performance in the year under review, achieving a $39.8 million adjusted EBITDA improvement in comparison to the prior year. This was achieved through a variety of growth and operational efficiency initiatives undertaken throughout the year that built on foundations set in the 2018 financial year.

The business also continued to grow its aged care home care packages, increasing market share to approximately four percent (4,161 packages) from around three percent in the prior year (3,002 packages). Australian Unity continues as one of the top five providers in what is a highly fragmented market.

The HDS business also embarked on a debtor management initiative that was successful in both significantly lowering the working capital requirements of the operations (and consequently also the provision for doubtful debts-to an overall adjusted EBITDA benefit of $4.1 million) and improving customer comprehension of, and feedback about, their account management experiences.

Indigenous Services was defined as a new and important business unit within HDS in the year under review. Its initial focus is on providing culturally appropriate care, developing improved and sustainable funding models and improved services to Indigenous communities. Through AHC, Indigenous Services will be expanded to include other culturally appropriate products and services as community needs arise. AHC delivered 300,000 hours of care to 3,461 clients by 262 predominantly Indigenous careworkers.

Remedy Healthcare

During the year, Remedy Healthcare (Remedy) delivered more than 390,000 episodes of care across 14 treatment programs. Remedy continued its growth trajectory, increasing revenue by 1.2 percent to $25.9 million, driven predominantly by Allied Health Services (2018: $25.6 million).

Remedy embarked on a year of transition as it exited its major external aged care contracts to focus on integrating Health Services into IAL business units and further develop its continuum of care approach across the platform. Pressure on the private health insurance (PHI) industry resulted in a significant decline in Health Coaching services delivered and therefore materially changed the weighting of Remedy’s services towards Allied Health services. The changed PHI market conditions led to a redesign of coaching services offered to this sector, with the ‘Healthier Me’ program launched in June 2019 to address declining volume and provide a more holistic approach to assessing and delivering individual healthcare needs.

Remedy delivered the Get Healthy Service on behalf of government health departments in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia for the first full year. The service is available to assist residents of these states to achieve their weight loss and health-related goals. During the year, the service received more than 21,500 referrals and delivered more than 33,000 episodes of care.
Remedy Healthcare’s joint replacement home rehabilitation program continued to build on the success of previous years, growing a further 19.5 percent to more than 3,000 programs delivered in the year under review.

Dental

Australian Unity continued to operate six dental clinics. During the year, the South Melbourne clinic was relocated to 271 Spring Street, Melbourne in conjunction with the overall Australian Unity corporate office move from South Melbourne. Clinics are now located at two Melbourne CBD locations, Hughesdale, Moonee Ponds, Rowville and Box Hill. Largely attributable to the disruption of the relocation, patient visits declined from 58,455 in the 2018 financial year to 54,887.

Residential Communities

IAL owns and operates 20 retirement communities across Victoria and NSW. In May 2019, 22 apartments were opened as part of the final stage development at Peninsula Grange, Mornington, Victoria, and in June The Grace on Albert Park, South Melbourne, Victoria was opened, comprising 79 independent living apartments. The portfolio now consists of 2,469 independent living units (2018: 2,368). Occupancy levels remained high, in excess of 96.0 percent in the 12 months to June 2019.

IAL also owns and operates seven aged care facilities in Victoria and NSW. The business decommissioned the aged care facility at Walmsley in Kilsyth, Victoria, in October 2018 to build a new aged care facility that will better meet customer needs. In March 2019, it opened a 68-bed aged care facility, Sienna Grange in Port Macquarie, NSW. In May 2019, a seventh aged care facility, Racecourse Grange, with 127 beds was opened in Mornington, Victoria. In total, the number of operational aged care beds increased to 786 (2018: 711). Occupancy levels remained high at 98.0 percent.

Developments

As the internal operating partner in the Social Infrastructure and Development Group (SIDG), IAL continued to focus on the development pipeline of aged care and retirement communities over the 12-month period to June 2019.

During the year under review, construction was commenced, progressed or completed and occupancy progressed in the following communities:

Peninsula Grange, Mornington, Victoria

Completed construction of the final 22 apartments.

Racecourse Grange, Mornington, Victoria

Completed construction of a 127-aged care bed development.

The Grace Albert Park Lake, South Melbourne, Victoria

Completed construction of 79 independent living apartments.

Sienna Grange Aged Care, Port Macquarie, NSW

Completed construction of a 68-aged care bed development.

Drummond Place, Carlton, Victoria

As at 30 June 2019, 55 independent living apartments were occupied, with 35 remaining.

Lane Cove, NSW

The Agreement for Lease was signed by Lane Cove Council in August 2017 for a 99-year leasehold. As at 30 June 2019, the development application for the development of 70 aged care beds, 74 apartments, affordable units and retail premise remained under consideration.

Walmsley, Kilsyth, Victoria

Undertook the decommissioning and demolition and commenced the rebuild of a 38 year-old residential aged care facility (Anticipated for reopening early 2021).

Albert Road, South Melbourne, Victoria

Commenced the repurposing of the former corporate offices of Australian Unity at 114 Albert Road, South Melbourne as an assisted living and residential aged care facility. (Anticipated opening late 2021).

Outlook

IAL continues to orientate the platform around the needs of its customers and key stakeholders in their health and wellbeing, including families, primary carers, communities and government agencies.

A significant priority for the 2020 financial year is the development of a customer-centred continuum of care across the home care, assisted living, residential care and Remedy Healthcare businesses. IAL will continue to focus on balancing its portfolio by growing evidence-based clinical outcome services and directing further resources to domestic assistance and personal care, including the provision of nursing services across the network of community and residential care.

The further extension by the Department of Health of the CHSP funding program until 30 June 2022 announced during the 2019 Federal Budget will likely support a more gradual transition of clients from block-funded services to consumer-directed home care packages in the immediate future.

HDS will embark on a year of transition as it scales down its provision of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)-funded disability services, to focus and invest more in the Aged Care sector. As the residential and homecare markets continue to grow, an ongoing challenge will be attracting the workforce required to deliver aged care services safely and at the high quality required. IAL’s priorities remain in progressively implementing a comprehensive workforce strategy, supported by an effective learning and development framework. Residential Communities, in conjunction with the SIDG and the ongoing support of investment partners, will continue to build Australian Unity’s pipeline of new and integrated communities. These communities are designed and operated according to IAL’s Better Together® domestic household model of care, which seeks to partner with residents and their loved ones in striving to achieve a balance of dignity and choice, and assurance of high quality care.



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