Go Salary
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  Social AffairsDisability

Why the NDIS needs a pricing shake up


Wednesday, 24th July 2019 at 1:06 pm
Luke Michael
The National Disability Insurance Scheme needs greater pricing flexibility to reflect local differences in costs across remote parts of Australia, experts say.


Wednesday, 24th July 2019
at 1:06 pm
Luke Michael


1 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Why the NDIS needs a pricing shake up
Wednesday, 24th July 2019 at 1:06 pm

The National Disability Insurance Scheme needs greater pricing flexibility to reflect local differences in costs across remote parts of Australia, experts say.

Researchers at the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) believe the scheme’s approach to price setting is too centralised and detached from the realities of service delivery.

NDIS providers have long argued that the main challenge for the sector was unrealistic pricing limits – which set the maximum prices that providers can charge participants for specific supports.

A new CSI report recommends giving local National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) offices the discretion to set prices.

Lead researcher Gemma Carey said local offices would ideally take pricing advice from Local Area Coordinators (LACs).

“The idea is that you can take more account of local variations in cost. For example, in regional areas where things cost more,” Carey told Pro Bono News.

“You might also be able to pay a provider a bit more to offer a different service – where the market is ‘thin’ – that meets clients’ needs. The idea is that you can ‘buffer’ local providers and help them stay in the market.”  

CSI researchers noted that 46 per cent of providers surveyed for National Disability Services’ 2018 market report listed “addressing pricing” as their top priority for the NDIS.

Carey said these pricing concerns were exacerbated by a lack of capacity building within the sector to help providers adjust to the scheme.  

She said organisations need to re-organise and re-skill, not just in relation to NDIS-specific rules, but also to ensure they can operate in a “business-like” environment effectively.

“At the moment providers are having to cover costs related to training and reskilling workers to the new system, so it is putting additional financial pressure on providers,” Carey said.

“The prices in the NDIS do not take account of training more broadly either, so we could deskill the workforce if we’re not careful.”

The federal government has taken action recently to address pricing issues in the NDIS.

NDIS Minister Stuart Robert last month announced a doubling in the loadings on price limits for remote and very remote services, and an increase in the provider travel claim cap from 1 July.

The NDIA confirmed that existing plans that include remote and very remote services would be automatically adjusted to reflect the price increases.

Carey said if local discretion was given in price setting as CSI recommended, a similar adjustment to participant plans could be the best way to implement the changes.


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

 Print

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

One Comment

  • Avatar peter chlonta says:

    now that special visa’s for over seas disability workers and off shore training schools already operating this will fix the gap

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Advocates demand stronger targets for disability employment

Luke Michael

Friday, 8th November 2019 at 4:05 pm

New NDIA CEO is revealed

Luke Michael

Thursday, 17th October 2019 at 3:21 pm

People experiencing homelessness struggling to navigate the NDIS

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 16th October 2019 at 4:13 pm

POPULAR

Our royal commission is not yet a safe place for people with disability

Emma Bennison

Wednesday, 6th November 2019 at 4:59 pm

Children with disability face bullying and exclusion in Aussie schools

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 30th October 2019 at 4:15 pm

Five charts on what a Newstart recipient really looks like

Contributor

Wednesday, 30th October 2019 at 3:56 pm

Rising rents creating a ‘time bomb’ of homelessness for older Australians

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 30th October 2019 at 5:17 pm

Go Salary
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!