Kymberly Martin
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Funding boost for disability services

An increase to price limits for therapy, attendant care and community participation under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) becomes effective on July 1, 2019. These increases will inject more than $850 million into the NDIS market in 2019-20 so participants can access services and supports to meet individual needs.

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The prices include a minimum increase of almost $11 per hour for therapists and up to a 15.4 per cent increase to the base limit for attendant care and community participation. Providers of attendant care would also be eligible for an additional pricing boost through a temporary transformation payment.

NDIA Pricing Reference Group member Graeme Innes said the pricing changes were considered by the Pricing Reference Group over a number of meetings and were supported by a strong body of evidence.

“We endorse the changes because we are satisfied that the increases are reflective of the adjustment that is needed to address sector concerns and ensure participants continue to be supported in achieving their goals,” Innes said.

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The changes are part of ongoing pricing considerations that will be communicated to the sector in coming months, including the outcomes from the WA Market Review, in the lead up to the implementation of the new 2019-20 prices.

“We are committed to the development of a vibrant disability services market that enables NDIS participants to have genuine choice and control over the services and supports they need,” Minister for Social Services Paul Fletcher said, “and we have consulted widely with participants, providers and the sector to inform and implement these changes.

“These processes have identified the need to increase prices for attendant care and community participation and we are responding to that. Substantial increases to the hourly rates for therapy also follow a comprehensive review of the price control arrangements and other market settings for therapy services through December 2018 to March 2019,” the minister said.

The NDIA’s Pricing Reference Group guides NDIS price regulation activities and decisions to support NDIS objectives during the transition to a competitive market place. The NDIA would continue to improve market and price settings, using benchmarking methodologies to guide the process.