NDIS News & Analysis

NDIA temporarily increases core support pricing

Team DSC

The NDIA released an update to the Price Guide on 23 December. This Christmas edition Price Guide introduces a range of changes related to the evolving COVID situation. The highlights are below.

Temporary COVID Adjustment Price Increases

Effective 1 January, the NDIA have temporarily increased the prices for some core supports to account for the additional costs related to the current COVID environment. The changes are:

  • 0.25% increase to the price limits for community participation supports and supports with activities of daily living, other than group core supports and Supported Independent Living (SIL)

  • 0.4% increase to the price limits for group core supports and SIL.

These price increases replace previous support items related to PPE for workers. They will be in place until 30 June 2022, when the Annual Pricing Review will be released. 

COVID Addendum

The COVID Addendum to the Price Guide also saw some changes:

  • The COVID-19 vaccination payment has been extended until 31 March, and an additional payment of $75 to support people to receive boosters is in place until 30 June 2022.

  • SIL providers can now directly bill NDIA up to $12.50 for Rapid Antigen Tests for workers. This can only be claimed in cases where a worker must be tested for the support to take place – if the provider can roster someone who does not need to be tested, then no claim can be made.

  • Participants receiving SIL supports may use their low-cost assistive technology funding to purchase Rapid Antigen Tests

  • Line items related to PPE for support workers have been ended effective 31 December (replaced by the price increases above)

Disability Support Worker Cost Model

The NDIA have now published their updated Disability Support Worker Cost Model, just 3 weeks after submissions to the Pricing Consultation closed. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions about how thoroughly the responses informed this new cost model, but the major changes it introduces are:

  • Base pay rates increased in line with SCHADS classifications

  • Superannuation rate increased to 10% (from 9.5%)

  • Casual loading increased to 1.3% (from 1.2%)

  • Introduction of temporary COVID price adjustments described above

Subscription services

Those of you who clocked off a bit earlier in December may have missed the other Price Guide update last month, which introduced subscription arrangements. People may now pre-purchase supports on a subscription basis, provided that:

  • A plain English service agreement has been accepted by the participant

  • Subscriptions are only charged for up to a month in advance, unless the subscription fee for a longer period is less than $350 (eg. $199 per year)

  • There are no exit fees or penalties for cancellations

  • Invoices clearly describe the supports available to the person during the subscription period

 

All in all, probably not the Christmas present you were expecting, but not one you are going to regift either. The modest price increases and COVID measures will hopefully take some of the pressure of everyone in what is looking like it will be another massive year.