A recent pricing increase under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will improve support for people with complex needs.
The current two levels of price control for self-care, social and recreational support will be replaced with three price levels from 1 February 2019 to ensure the complex needs of people with disability are met through skilled and qualified staff and support services.
The pricing increase will mean participants will pay an increased fee (loading) per hour for the support they need, delivered by support workers who are equipped to meet their needs.
The changes are as follows:
- Level 1 – standard needs (as per 2018/19 price guide)
- Level 2 – complex needs (a 5.6 percent loading in alignment with current approach)
- Level 3 – very complex needs (new loading of 10.3 percent)
The new pricing arrangements were announced by Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher yesterday.
“The pricing increase recognises that people with complex needs require higher levels of skilled supports in their NDIS plans,” he says.
“The changes will also link pricing controls to the skill level of the worker who delivers the support.”
Mr Fletcher also announced a Temporary Support for Overheads (a measure bought in to compensate providers for the additional overhead costs they incur as a result of the challenges of the NDIS transition) loading of 2.5 percent will be extended in the application for Level 2 and 3 supports.
Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson says the pricing arrangements come following consultation within the sector.
“These pricing increases were also informed by consultation with 1000 stakeholders as part of an Independent Pricing Review, including participants, providers and peak representative bodies.
“In addition, the National Disability Insurance Agency will test with providers in the coming months a new pricing structure for both therapists and therapy assistants.”
Director Policy and Advocacy at People with Disability Australia, Romola Hollywood says the organisation welcomes the third tier of pricing arrangements and hopes the changes will create more opportunity for fresh approaches to support.
“We welcome the introduction of a third tier within the NDIS pricing arrangements for self-care, social and recreational supports for people with disability who have complex support needs.”
“This additional tier in the pricing framework responds to calls from people with disability and service providers that higher level skills may be required for workers providing individualised, person-centred supports for people with disability with complex needs.”
“We will be watching closely to ensure that these changes do result in greater choice and control for people with disability with complex needs.”
“We hope that the new pricing arrangements will encourage providers to move away from older congregate-style recreational activities and open up more innovative and individualised approaches to self-care, social and recreational supports that deliver on the vision of the NDIS.”