Support co-ordinators will be able to claim increased travel time and non face-to-face activities from next month under NDIS price increases, which also provide a boost to remote and regional providers.
Minister for the NDIS Stuart Robert announced the increases to service price limits on Tuesday.
“From 1 July 2019, providers will see increases to remote and very remote plan funding and price limit loadings, changes to billing for travel, cancellations and non-face-to-face services, and a temporary loading for attendant care and community participation supports—including group based supports—to assist organisations transitioning to the NDIS,’ he said in a statement.
The increases are part of an Independent Price Review which made 25 recommendations aimed helping the national disability scheme cope with growing demand, improve the quality of care and move towards price deregulation.
- 40 per cent remote and 50 per cent very remote loadings on price limits
- Increases to provider travel claims to 30 minutes in city areas and 60 minutes in regional areas
- Conditional Temporary Transformation Payment of 7.5 per cent in the first year for attendant care and community participation supports
- Two levels for therapy assistant supports
- Hourly rate for non-face-to-face care activities conducted on behalf of the participant.
Price indexation will also be automatically applied to various other supports from 1 July 2019, including:
- – 4.5 per cent for supports listed under Assistance with Daily Activities and Social and Community Participation
- – 2.1 per cent for capacity building supports, including support coordination and therapy
- – 1.3 per cent for supports listed under Consumables, Assistive Technology and Home Modification and Specialised Disability Accommodation.
More information about the changes can be found here.
The peak disability provider, National Disability Services welcomed the announcement saying the increases would support the delivery of quality services, increase transport funding for people with disability and workers and address issues around service cancellations.
However CEO David Moody said while he was pleased that prices were starting to reflect some of the true costs of providing quality services for people with disability, there were still problems within the NDIS that needed to be addressed.
“The timing of this announcement also means that, although the new prices are to take effect from 1 July 2019, in reality many service providers will find it difficult to bed down the required changes to their business to apply the new prices by that date,” he said.
Report puts NDIS fraud controls under the spotlight
Meanwhile, a report into NDIS fraud controls by the Australian National Audit Office released this week warns that with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) distributing $20 billion of funds the scheme is vulnerable to risk.
However, report concluded that the NDIA has “largely appropriate fraud detection and response mechanisms” although there is still room for improvement.
The report says there has been an increase in tip-offs about fraud to the NDIA since July 2017 and a “marked increase” since the establishment of the NDIS Fraud Taskforce last year.
It shows the NDI received more than 300 tip-offs about fraud in February 2019 compared to around 60 in July 2017, and breaches totalling $4.6 million were identified between August and December last year.
As of May 31 it had 20 ongoing investigations with an estimated value of $9.3 million.
In May a taskforce investigation resulted in the arrest of five people in western Sydney who allegedly controlled three registered NDIS providers believed to have fraudulently claimed more than $1.1 from 70 NDIS participants. The three entities are believed to have received more than $2.6 million in NDIA payments since December 2017, the report says.
The NDIS is being rolled out nationally over three years from 2016-2019 and will eventually provide funding for supports and services for 460,000 people.