While the NDIS represents an historic opportunity to ensure certainty of support for some of Australia’s most vulnerable people, the rollout of the scheme has been less than ideal. OTA members and their clients report long and frustrating delays in the approval of plans and, as a knock-on effect, long and dangerous delays in the delivery of supports, including vital assistive technology.
In addition, many OTs and allied health professionals are required to undergo certification and auditing as part of the scheme, entailing a significant financial and administrative burden. Unfortunately, some providers are finding these demands unsustainable and as a result are walking away from the scheme, leaving clients with less choice of providers. Given that consumer choice is a central tenet of the NDIS, the current situation is far from ideal. Unless these shortcomings are urgently addressed, the NDIS runs the risk of leaving participants with little choice of provider across significant parts of the country.
- OTA continues to advocate for a standardised fee rate for all allied health professionals working under the NDIS.
- OTA continues to advocate for certification and verification requirements that are sustainable for providers, whilst delivering a robust safeguarding mechanism for consumers.
OTA continues to advocate forcefully in this space, proposing constructive solutions to the many problems besetting the scheme. Along the way there have been some important wins.
In early 2018, the Independent Pricing Review commissioned by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) recommended significant cuts in the fees paid for most NDIS services. A tiered pricing structure, based around the highly problematic concept of the client’s “complexity”, would have seen some services attract payments of as little as $110 per hour. OTA played a leading role in vocal and protracted efforts to overturn a proposal which threatened the viability of OTs’ businesses and was potentially disastrous for their clients. As a result of these efforts, an increase in the hourly rate paid by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) from $179 to $193.99 per hour took effect on 1 July 2019.
OTA representatives Anita Volkert and Andrea Douglas gave evidence at the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS hearing held in Melbourne on 7 November 2019.
Submissions and Correspondence
- OTA Submission: NDIS Act Review and PSG Discussion Paper
- NDIS Thin Markets Project
- NDIS Annual Price Review
- OTA Letter to Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS
- NDIS Planning Inquiry
How You Can Help
OTA welcomes feedback about your experiences working with the NDIS, and your ideas as to how the scheme can be improved. OTA takes this feedback to government and key stakeholders to advocate for better outcomes for OTs, and their clients.
To provide your feedback on this important issue, please contact OTA.