Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson has welcomed yesterday’s announcement of changes to some price limits and controls for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services, but says the full pricing review report, on which the changes were based, must be made public.
NDIS pricing has been a source of concern for stakeholders Australia-wide, particularly providers, with the model considered opaque and not reflective of the cost of providing services.
The State Government called for a review of Western Australian prices after the national pricing review missed out WA. Minister Dawson welcomed the commitment to the WA Market Review and the inclusion of a local reference group.
However, the changes for WA service providers announced by Federal National Disability Insurance Scheme Minister Stuart Robert leaves some areas of concern.
The State Government is not satisfied that the true cost of complex care service delivery in WA has been fully addressed by these adjustments and has called for the release of the complete report.
The Commonwealth announcement highlights price limit increases for the NDIS following its 2018-19 Annual Price Review and the market review on conditions in WA conducted in the first quarter of 2019.
In its submission to the review by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the State Government raised concerns about pricing in regional and remote areas, thin markets due to the specialised nature of services, and potential shortages in the sector workforce with associated difficulties with recruitment and retention of quality staff.
The changes to price limits together with the changes to remote and very remote loadings and the reclassification of some outer regional areas, such as Kalgoorlie, acknowledge the unique challenges faced by NDIS participants and providers in WA.
The WA Government will continue to work closely with NDIS participants, the WA disability sector and the NDIA to understand the real impact of these changes as they are implemented from 1 July 2019.
As stated by Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson:
“The State Government welcomes the outcomes of the NDIA’s Annual Price Review and the WA Market Survey announced yesterday, however concerns around pricing for complex care have not been adequately addressed.
“As WA’s Disability Services Minister, I am acutely aware of the issues presented by the vast size and distances in Western Australia, with unique challenges for both NDIS participants and providers in remote and very remote regions.
“While the price limit increases are to be welcomed and will assist in particular regional service providers transitioning to the NDIS I’m not convinced they go far enough.
“I’m disappointed the review hasn’t set a specific price for WA that takes into account our unique industrial climate.
“I have written to the Federal Minister Stuart Robert for a copy of the full review. We need to know the rationale for the changes made and why the NDIA did not adopt the other changes suggested by the WA disability sector.
“As WA continues its transition to full-scheme NDIS, ongoing monitoring of the market will need to ensure that price limits and controls are effectively stewarding the development of the market to support improved choice and control for people with disability and inform appropriate strategies for mitigating the impact of thin markets.”