NDIS update - pricing review and new website

 

Pricing Review

On 10 December the National Disability Insurance Agency announced that it will implement a range of new pricing arrangements, in recognition that participants with more complex support needs require higher skilled staff to deliver some supports which incur higher costs for providers.

Recognising this, the current system - with two levels of price controls for assistance with self-care, social and recreational activities - will be replaced with three price levels linked to the skill level of the worker delivering the support. These new arrangements for complex support provision take effect on 1 February 2019.

The three levels of price controls incorporate:

  • Level 1 – standard needs (as per 2018/19 price guide)
  • Level 2 – complex needs (a 5.6% loading in alignment with current approach)
  • Level 3 – very complex needs (new loading of 10.3%)

The new three-level system reflects the findings of the NDIA led pilot program on pricing for complexity that engaged providers from states and territories to identify the best approach to implementing change.

Review of Pricing of Therapy services

The Independent Pricing Review (IPR) recommended a two-tiered therapy pricing structure.  However, following feedback from the therapists and the sector more broadly, the NDIA undertook further analysis and consultation.

As a consequence, the NDIA recommends that — for both therapists and therapy assistants — it tests with providers a pricing structure that reflects the type of therapy service provided; geographic considerations; and whether it is an initial or ongoing consultation. This approach will also have regard to benchmark prices for other comparable Schemes. The potential for deregulation in some markets will also be explored.

The response, that will be tested, reflects the varying state of competitiveness in different markets for specific therapy types.

After these meetings occur with the sector, the NDIA proposes to publish a draft price list for therapy services in March 2019, with implementation to follow as soon as practical afterwards.

AASW has been working with AHPA to remain informed about these developments and provide feedback, but it should be noted that the changes are more pertinent to allied health professionals such as Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech Therapists etc, and not social workers.