ACT in Focus by Jo Huxley, September 2023
NDS recently released findings from our latest pulse survey that looked at prices, insurance and PACE. The results reinforce the impression we have received from talking to providers that they are seriously concerned about their financial viability.
Eighty-three per cent of respondents said they are concerned about their ability to deliver disability services using the NDIA’s new price limits, many citing as factors discrepancies in the SCHADS Award and the lack of an increase in remuneration for support coordinators and plan managers.
Thirty-two per cent of respondents reported difficulties in securing insurance to run their disability services. Insurance premiums – specifically physical and sexual abuse insurance, cyber security insurance and other forms of general insurance are becoming prohibitively expensive, with the requirements set by insurers increasingly hard to meet. We continue to speak to both state and federal governments on this issue.
Over the last month, NDS has kept the sector informed and provided advocacy around the NDIA’s PACE rollout and all matters NDIS.
PACE is one of the key deliverables for the Participant, Platform and Process Improvements Initiative (3P), which is the NDIA’s strategy to improve the client experience.
An evaluation report of the trial was recently released and the NDIS has published on their website ‘What we heard,’ a detailed summary of the feedback.
Responding to NDS advocacy and feedback from the broader disability community, the NDIA has made several improvements to PACE. You can read a summary of these improvements on the NDIS webpage.
Among the improvements are ‘ring fencing' for Home and Living Supports, better communications to improve safeguards for providers, the term Participant-Endorsed Provider (PEP) replaced by My Provider, and better plan visibility.
Having felt under pressure to prepare members for the September rollout, we were happy to hear last week that it has been postponed until 30 October.
Following the release of their ‘What have we heard’ report at the end of June, the NDIS Independent Review Panel has now begun discussing the next steps and where they are heading with regards to final report recommendations. See our NDIS Review - Update for NDS Members - July 2023.
The panel held a series of webinars last week and you can view the recordings, or read the transcripts, here.
We will keep on contributing to the NDIS Review by providing solutions across a number of priority areas. Recently we made submissions on Quality and Safety and Participant Safeguarding, and we have been doing significant work on flexible and differentiated pricing and payment methods.
Again, if you have comments or feedback on any of these issues, please contact me.