The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and health services will now work together to support people with disability through the funding of disability-related health supports.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council held its first formal meeting for the year in the Gold Coast to address a number of long-standing issues, including the interaction of the NDIS and the health system.
From October 1 2019, NDIS participants will be able to access health supports required as a result of their disability.
Under the move, these disability-related supports include respiratory, nutrition and continence supports and supports to manage epilepsy, pressure wounds, swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) and podiatry.
The Council also agreed the Hospital Discharge Delay Action Plan will help promote the timely discharge of NDIS participants from public hospitals.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and State and Territory health departments will develop aligned communications to implement the collaboration of funded disability-related health supports by the NDIS and health systems.
The Summer Foundation welcomes the announcement as it will stop people falling through the gaps and ending up in a hospital or aged care facility where they have usually accessed these supports in the past.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at The Summer Foundation, Luke Bo’sher says, “The decision to fund disability-related health supports under the NDIS will go a long way towards addressing major gaps that people with high and complex disabilities are experiencing when trying to access essential supports.
“This will enable many more people to maintain their health and live in the community. We know that 50 young people with disabilities are admitted into aged care every week.
“These improvements to the NDIS will help people with disabilities to avoid being forced into aged care facilities because their disability-related health needs will finally be addressed by the NDIS.”
Co-CEO of People with Disability Australia (PWDA), Matthew Bowden says the organisation remains concerned that there is still a gap opening up between the health and disability systems that many people with disability are falling through.
“The NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency), and States and Territories have a joint responsibility and need to work cooperatively to solve this so that people with disability aren’t left without the essential support we need,” he explains.
He says PWDA are pleased to see this first move towards addressing this growing issue.
Mr Bowden says, “Far too many people with disability are stuck in hospitals, long term, or discharged to aged care facilities when all they want is to go home.
“There have been significant delays in getting access to NDIS plans that include a pathway home for people with disability, with insufficient funding for in home disability supports, a lack of accessible housing and delays in needed home modifications.”
Mr Bowden says PWDA look forward to working with Minister of the NDIS, Stuart Robert, to ensure that people with disability don’t have to be in hospital any longer than they need to be or forced into nursing homes.
The disability-related health supports funded under the NDIS will include:
Development of oral eating and drinking care plans (OEDCP)
Swallowing therapy associated with dysphagia provided by an allied health professional
Diabetic Management Supports
Development of diabetic management plan
Daily maintenance and care associated with diabetic management plan (where the participant is unable to self-manage due to their disability)
Cleaning of catheters
Assessments, plans and reviews
Wound and Pressure Care Supports
Wound care consumables (e.g. dressings)
Tracheostomy clinical management
Tracheostomy equipment and consumables
Constant Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine and consumables
Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) machine and consumables
Portable suction machine
Cough assist machine
Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) and HEN equipment (or similar) and consumables, excluding Food Formula
Thickeners and nutritional supplements
PEG stoma changes
Development of nutritional meal plans
Development of meal time management plans
Podiatry and Foot Care Supports
Podiatry diagnosis and assessment and development of podiatry care plan
Epilepsy seizure monitoring
Epilepsy monitoring through assistive technology