Aged care services provider ramps up technology with Epicor SLS
to handle regulatory and industry change
Industry: Aged Care
Eldercare was founded in
1979, and today is one of the largest and most experienced aged care providers
in South Australia. Affiliated with the Uniting Church, Eldercare is a
community service organisation and a not-for-profit charity that offers
approximately 1,000 licensed aged care beds and more than 200 self-contained
retirement units across South Australia.
Besides handling the financial, regulatory and
compliance requirements of its business, Eldercare manages a dedicated team of
1,400 staff, 350 volunteers and more than 200 contractors across the
organisation’s 22 locations in Adelaide and on Yorke Peninsula.
Leveraging technology to
keep up with legislative, financial and compliance requirements
Aged care in Australia,
as an industry, is highly regulated and is undergoing a period of substantial
change with increasingly complicated financial requirements.
Running a successful aged care services organisation like
Eldercare requires a system to have the ability to adapt to varied funding
structures, offer flexible financial reporting capabilities, meet the
industry’s extensive financial compliance and governance requirements and
facilitate Medicare claims and rebates.
Aged care providers like
Eldercare need a modern technology solution in place to help manage all of that
“We needed a new system
with strong functionality around client management, client reporting and client
billing and we wanted it to be ready to go and sufficient for our needs right
out of the box, without requiring a lot of customisation,” said Scott Morgan,
corporate services executive for Eldercare.
“We wanted to be able to
manage the system ourselves after the implementation without requiring ongoing
consulting and maintenance services from the vendor. It was important to us
that the technology enabled us to implement and manage business process
improvements and gave us the ability to write our own reports,” stated Morgan.
Eldercare sought a
solution that would provide capabilities for immediate aged care legislative
compliance and also offer a foundation for future changes.
The solution also needed
to be fully integrated with Eldercare’s chosen clinical care system as well as
its financial applications for general ledger and cash management.
Choosing a locally developed
and supported technology solution
Epicor SLS (Senior Living
Solutions) is designed, developed and supported in Australia by local
developers with local knowledge of legislation, regulations and the financial
management requirements of Australian aged care organisations.
Eldercare was attracted
to Epicor SLS because it is easy to use, especially in the areas of client
billing and client management, and offers a fully integrated financial suite of
Overall, it is a more
sophisticated solution than Eldercare’s previous system; therefore it is better
able to handle its multifaceted billing scenarios and compliance requirements.
The solution from Epicor, designed specifically for the aged
care sector, gave Eldercare the capacity to effectively and efficiently meet
all of its current legislative requirements and complete all the necessary
compliance reports. It also integrates with other key systems.
“We found that the Epicor
staff had strong project management and technical skills. Also, they knew our
aged care sector really well, so that meant the project ran smoothly. The
knowledge of the Epicor staff helped build a strong rapport with our staff,”
“Another important factor
for us was that Epicor SLS catered to our requirements as a standard product,”
said Morgan, “and it provided the tools and framework for Eldercare to
internally implement and manage our own ongoing business process improvements
and reporting requirements.”
A model customer and a
following the Epicor Signature implementation methodology with allowing its
team to be flexible and still implement and deliver key milestones without
adversely impacting its daily activities.
“The Epicor professional
services team is proficient in project management,” said Morgan. “The Epicor
SLS consultant assigned to us during implementation was thorough and well
versed with the aged care legislation and at the same time had comprehensive
technical and working knowledge of the technology solution.”
Epicor showed Eldercare
the best way to deploy the technology solution to get maximum value from its
investment and Eldercare got involved, learned how to use the system and
approached it with an ownership mentality. Like all Epicor customers, Eldercare
knows its business best and–with support–can apply that knowledge of its
business needs and an understanding of the system to get the most value from
the Epicor SLS solution. This is the approach Epicor recommends its customers
take for best success, and Eldercare is an excellent example of best-practice
implementation from the customer side of things.
“Eldercare was very committed to this project and we therefore
invested in the necessary resources,” said Morgan. “That meant we could ultimately
achieve the benefits we wanted and ensure that the project was a big success.”
Post implementation, Eldercare began using Epicor for all
aspects of the funding and reconciliation for both its aged care and its
retirement living businesses, including client management, billing, prudential
reporting and more.
“With Epicor SLS, we can
serve our customers better”
Morgan said that
implementing the Epicor SLS solution has allowed Eldercare to standardise
business functions. Employees have shared positive feedback describing the
system as more intuitive and easier to use than their previous technology
solution. As the IT team has used the Epicor SLS solution to centralise a
number of key functions, it has increased system controls and improved data
governance by using tools such as exception reporting.
Prior to implementing the
Epicor SLS solution, Eldercare was not able to automate functions such as
funding reconciliations and accruals. It was not able to integrate its
financial application with its clinical care system. The billing team was not
looking forward to the time consuming task of setting things up so that they
could meet the requirements of the industry’s legislative reforms.
“We’ve been able to automate many of our end of month processes,
including accruals and reconciliations, so we’ve gained many efficiencies out
of that,” said Morgan. “We’ve also been able to integrate our clinical care
system with Epicor SLS, to feed data between both systems. As a result, we have
shortened our end of month timeframes to deliver more accurate and timely
Eldercare saw specific time savings in terms of the preparation
of Prudential Reporting requirements and the annual Aged Care Survey, thanks to
“We value the feedback of our staff and colleagues, and one of
the subject matter experts within our billing team has commented a number of
times that the implementation of all the changes as a result of legislative
reforms over the last twelve months would have been much more difficult if we
were still using our previous system and processes,” said Jane Pickering, chief
executive for Eldercare.
“Essentially, and most importantly, we can serve our customers
better,” said Pickering. “The Epicor SLS system gives us access to more timely
and accurate data, which means that we can respond to client inquiries much
faster than we used to.”
Eldercare now has the controls in place to reduce the chance of
billing errors, enabling the organisation to be responsive and produce timely
and accurate information for its clients.
would have no hesitation in recommending Epicor,” said Morgan.