NDIS updates: May 2018
This month, the NDIA clarified their position and approach to Specialist Disability Accomodation (SDA), provided an update to the progress of the implementation of the Independent Pricing Review (IPR) and updated the School Leavers' Employment Supports (SLES) Provider Handbook. Additionally, the Disability Reform Council released their Communique, detailing their focus on key issues faced by people with disability and the sector in the transition to the NDIS.
In the IPR implementation update, the NDIA provided an indication of which recommendations (of the 25 provided) would be implemented in the upcoming 2018-19 Price Guide. These recommendations include:
- Increasing providers’ capacity to claim for worker travel time in regional areas when applicable
- Providing a ‘temporary support for overheads’
- Revising the cancellation policy for therapy and core supports and travel policy for therapeutic supports
- Reviewing the NDIA’s approach to group pricing
- Enabling therapists to claim for report writing
Other changes listed in the IPR will be reviewed and implemented at a later stage. Further information about the recommendations can be found here.
The NDIA released the ‘SDA Provider and Investor Brief’, which clarified the NDIA's approach and position to SDA. The paper did not provide a lot of new information, however confirmed the NDIA’s ongoing commitment to fund SDA. The paper did not include market information to assist providers and developers to make informed decisions about future investments. The paper broadly provided an interpretation of the existing SDA framework and associated Rules, indicating how key NDIS principles are translated into the application of SDA in participant plans. The SDA Provider and Investor Brief can be found here.
The SLES Provider Handbook was updated to include changes to the way providers claim for SLES. The changes represent a shift to outcomes based pricing, allowing providers who have met the required criteria and achieved employment for the participants they are supporting to claim the remaining annual SLES amount. This change has also seen an increased focus in the SLES Provider Handbook on providers’ supporting participants to engage in open employment placements and develop job-related skills. Providers will continue to claim as agreed to in their Service Agreement while delivering SLES supports (i.e., either weekly or as SLES supports are delivered). Further information is available here.
The Disability Reform Council (DRC) released their Communique identifying a number of key priority areas, including to address issues related to the mainstream interface with NDIS. The DRC’s full Communique can be found here.