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October 26, 2019

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New NDIS price guide & policies

 

 

Key points: 

  • the new NDIA price guide for 2019 - 2020 is finally out! 

  • travel caps increase from 20 to 30 minutes

  • prices increase across the board

  • cancellations policy is updated

 

The NDIA released the 2019 - 2020 price guide on June 25th, and has since released multiple updated versions with corrections. The final release was made yesterday. 

 

The major changes affecting us at Splash have been communicated to our current Splash families.

 

A short summary of the major changes is: 

 

Travel for capacity building providers (including physiotherapy):

  • the travel cap is increased from 20 minutes to 30 minutes

  • travel can now be averaged when travelling to a region. eg. eg. if we travel 30 mins to the first family, 5 minutes to the next, and 30 minutes back to base, we can divide 70 minutes between the 3 families. We feel this is a much fairer way to charge for travel

Image description: diagram showing travel from base to 1st visit 30 minutes, to 2nd visit 5 mins, to 3rd visit 5 mins, back to base 30 mins.

 

Prices are increased across the board for NDIS services

  • the NDIA is updating your plans to allow for this price increase

  • eg if you have enough funds for 10 hours in your plan at the old price, money will be added so you still have enough for 10 hours at the new price

  • if you do not find extra funds in your plan, please contact the LAC and also the  NDIA. Quote the NDIA media release: "Funding in participant plans will be automatically adjusted from 1 July 2019 to reflect the changes to indexation and the price limits for therapy, attendant care and community participation.”

  • if you are budgeting BEFORE the extra funds arrive, go by hours not total amount


Cancellation policy updated

  • the cancellation policy recognises that a provider must receive the cancellation on a prior business day, when they are at work

  • details about this have been communicated to our current Splash families

 

Advocacy reflections

 

This is a dramatic improvement on the March 2018 Independent Pricing Review that had us in advocacy overdrive, quoting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disability! 

It is the collaboration between the  NDIA, participants, providers, and professional associations, along with the NDIA's willingness to engage with advocacy efforts, that we see an improved and much less controversial price guide!

 

The NDIS is far from perfect, and is certainly letting many people down, including some of our Splash families. It has also dramatically improved the lives of many people with disabilities and their families across Australia, again including many of our Splash families. I thank those families who have given permission to share both their successes and tragedies in advocacy discussions with the NDIA and politicians. 

 

The NDIS is changing the face of disability in Australia. It has plenty of flaws, and I believe it is up to participants and providers to continue to advocate for an improved system. The changes can't come quickly enough, but I am encouraged that at least some are on the way.

(See also: early intervention access to the NDIS new $10,000 interim plans for babies and children waiting for their first NDIS planning meeting)

 

Late notice of changes

 

We understand that this is very late notice, given that the price guide policies came into effect yesterday. We at Splash have acted as quickly as possible on this to implement the changes and communicate them with families as accurately, transparently and quickly as possible. 

We believe that providers need at least 6 weeks' notice of any changes, so that they can be applied to their practise, communicated to their families, and so families have time to understand how any changes will affect them.

We also believe this earlier preparation may result in a smoother implementation from the NDIA in more accurate communication, and in having participant NDIS plans updated appropriately with funds by the start date July 1. 

If you have concerns about the NDIA's timing of this information release, you can email feedback@ndis.gov.au

 

 

References: 

 

Shayna Gavin is a physiotherapist who is passionate about helping babies, children and young people learn functional skills so they can participate in life at home, school and in their community. Recognising that children do best in their own environments,  she visits homes, schools, and leisure activities from football fields to ballet classes. She also has daily aquatic physiotherapy sessions available at two private swimming schools in Moonee Ponds and Greensborough, Melbourne. She combines principles of paediatric physiotherapy, Contemporary Neuro Developmental Treatment, motor learning, and swimming teaching to address the individual needs of each child and their family. She loves providing professional development to physiotherapists, allied health and education professionals, allied health assistants and swimming teachers. 

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