National Disability Insurance Scheme providers working with Australians with the most complex disability needs will receive more money under a $140 million investment into pricing arrangements. Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher has announced a third tier of care for people with very complex needs which will deliver a 10.3 per cent loading on existing pricing. It is expected that more than 200,000 disabled Australians who use the NDIS will benefit from the changed arrangements.
The new pricing arrangements will come into effect 1 February 2019. The current system of two levels of price controls for assistance with self-care and social and recreational activities for participants with complex needs will be replaced with three levels as follows.
Level 1 – standard needs (as per 2018/19 price guide)
Level 2 – complex needs (5.6% loading in alignment with current approach)
Level 3 – very complex needs (new loading of 10.3%)
The increase in pricing finally recognises the increased support and skill level of staff required to deliver these supports well. The NDIA will not automatically increase funding levels in existing participant plans but those who are genuinely disadvantaged by the current price limits will be supported to seek a plan review. The government’s changes to the pay scale come after months of tension between providers and the government over how much they are being paid.
An independent review of the NDIS pricing arrangements by management consultants McKinsey & Company said in February that a third tier would cost the scheme up to $140m. Mr Fletcher said the extra money was already fully budgeted, and that none of the more than $8bn in funds allocated for the NDIS would be reallocated to make up for the pricing arrangement changes. The new arrangements form part of the NDIA’s commitment to ongoing implementation of the recommendations of the Independent Price Review.
If you are looking for a provider skilled in complex support and planning contact our support coordination team today on 1300 527 464.