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Breaking: Group Services Pricing Extension

The deadline has extended (again!) for group services providers transitioning to the new pricing model.

By Rob Woolley

Updated 15 Apr 20247 Apr 2022
Drawing of a group of people

Big news for group support providers! Depending on your individual situation, your reaction might be “at last, the news we’ve been waiting for!” or “all that work for nothing!?” or something in between.

Snuck deep into a rarely visited corner of the NDIA website is an update on the group pricing arrangements, currently being reviewed by the NDIA. It says:

“Given the significant disruption that many providers have faced over the last two years because of the pandemic, the Agency has decided to extend the transitional arrangements for group based core supports until 30 June 2023. A significant number of providers have already transitioned to the new group pricing arrangements. 

The Agency will be actively working with those providers who have not yet transitioned to assist them to make the transition within the next twelve months.”

It’s not quite a backflip, but it’s not far off. Though my brain does interpret what they’re saying as “this is the final time extension we’ll be giving” – but my that may just be me! Essentially, this announcement gives providers an additional 12 months to prepare for the apportioned pricing model.

This will be good news to many group providers who haven’t had the organisational headspace to transition to the new model. However, it isn’t a ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card. Providers still have a number of decisions to make, including:

  • Whether to transition to the new pricing model early or wait until it is closer to the new deadline of June 2023. Providers need to work out how they will know they are ready to make the leap to a different pricing model, and when is the right time to do it.
  • On that note, providers need to decide which pricing model is right for their organisation and the people they support for the next 12 months. What are the relative benefits of each model? And what are the key things that would need to be reviewed or changed?
  • How can providers accurately communicate the costs and services included in the pricing model they pick? And how can they help participants, families and Support Coordinators to understand value when they may not be comparing apples with apples?
  • If a provider is planning to use the new model sooner rather than later, how can they identify, deliver and quote Non-Face-to-Face and Centre Capital Costs in a way that participants, Planners and LACs will understand?
  • Programs of Support can be delivered under either pricing approach (transitional or apportioned). So how will Programs of Support factor into how a provider delivers group supports?

 

Regardless of where you were in your transition journey, a new timetable has been laid out by the NDIA. Up until now, not knowing that’s been the hardest thing.

There’s a lot to digest right now, and it feels like there’s a lot riding on any decisions you make.

We’ll be here throughout the process, so keep an eye out on our website for a range of training options being released very soon.

Authors

Rob Woolley

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