Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Stuart Robert, has announced an increase to price limits for NDIS services that includes updates for Western Australia.
“From 1 July 2019, providers will see increases to remote and very remote plan funding and price limit loadings; changes to billing for travel, cancellations and non-face-to-face services; and a temporary loading for attendant care and community participation supports to assist organisations transitioning to the NDIS,” the minister said.
These are in addition to the base rate increases announced for therapy, attendant care and community participation in March 2019. Funding in participant plans will be automatically adjusted from July 1, 2019 to reflect the changes to indexation and the price limits for therapy, attendant care and community participation.
Price indexation will also be applied to various other supports from July 1 2019, including:
- 4.5 per cent for supports listed under Assistance with Daily Activities and Social and Community Participation
- 2.1 per cent for capacity building supports, including support coordination and therapy
- 1.3 per cent for supports listed under Consumables, Assistive Technology and Home Modification and Specialised Disability Accommodation.
From July 1, 2019, providers in Western Australia will also benefit from the increases. The WA Market Review determined the cost to deliver services to lower density populated areas is discouraging providers from delivering services to participants in these areas, in effect reducing choice for participants.
“To ensure NDIS participants in outer regional areas surrounded by remote or very remote geography, like Kalgoorlie, are not disadvantaged and can access the best provider market available, pricing limits in these locations have been reclassified as ‘remote’. For these areas this means a minimum 20 per cent increase across the board from August 1, 2019,” the minister said.
While welcoming the announcement National Disability Services (NDS) acting CEO, David Moody, said as prices start to reflect some of the true costs of providing quality services for people with disability, the announcement was not going to miraculously fix all of the problems with the NDIS.
“The timing also means that, although the new prices are to take effect from July 1 2019, in reality many service providers will find it difficult to bed down the required changes to their business to apply the new prices by that date,” he said.
The NDS was disappointed that the NDIA has not made provision for covering the cost of the vehicle used by a worker as they move from appointment to appointment. These costs are substantial, cannot be avoided, and are not covered by the current price limits, Moody said. “NDS had also hoped for improvements to complexity pricing that should be linked to the complexity of the participant rather than the skills and experience of the worker, and more flexibility with how group supports could be offered, such as offering an activity by a fixed number of weeks.”
For more information on the changes and the Independent Price Review visit: https://www.ndis.gov.au/providers/price-guides-and-information
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