The third quarter 2018-19 NDIS report was published this month, you can access the reports here. Please note that this data is now 10 weeks old. SA data starts on page 207 of the report.
Our key takeaways from the latest quarterly report are summarised below:
Nationally, the NDIS roll-out is over half way complete (59.1%). The rollout is progressing at approximately the same pace as last quarter (32,486 TQ vs 32,910 LQ). Assuming the current rate of on-boarding to NDIS continues (10,828 per month), it will take until August 2020 to reach full scheme; eight months behind schedule.
In South Australia we’re now over 85% to full NDIS rollout. An extra 2,663 people in SA became active participants during the quarter. There are now a total of 27,487 SA NDIS participants with approved plans (including ECEI). Assuming that the current rate of on-boarding to NDIS continues (887 per month) it will take until July 2019 to reach full scheme.
The Federal Government has announced price increases for NDIS services on 30 March to come into effect on 1 July 2019. The price increases will inject more than $840 million into the NDIS market and we hope this will provide some relief for providers who struggle to deliver financially sustainable, quality services under the current pricing arrangements.
A new grant program for NDIS transition support launched in late March. NDIS Transition Assistance Funding is available under the Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program, a Commonwealth program administered by EY (Ernst&Young). A NDIS Transition Assistance fund of $5.6m will be distributed through grants of between $5000 to $20,000 for new and existing providers to spend on consulting support.
A new grant program has been launched for existing or potential NDIS providers to purchase tailored business supports. The Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program – Transition Assistance Funding Grant program provides one off grants to NDIS providers from $5,000 up to $20,000 (ex GST). This is a national program with a total grant value of $5.6m, so we expect there will be in the region of 280 – 1,120 grants awarded.
How to improve the working relationship between NDIA and disability service providers?
National Disability Services (NDS), the peak body for non-government disability service organisations released its annual State of the Disability Sector Report in November 2018. Part of the report is an annual market survey conducted by the Centre for Social Impact, in collaboration with NDS’ Centre for Applied Disability Research. In excess of 600 disability service providers responded to the survey representing providers of all shapes and sizes, and with 90% currently providing services under the NDIS.
Organisations can suffer serious financial damage if clients fail to keep scheduled services or cancel scheduled services at the last minute. NDIS cancellations are often beyond the control of the client and the service provider. Ill health, hospitalisation, poor weather, lack of transportation or difficulty getting out of bed can make it impossible for clients to attend a pre-booked NDIS support session. Most people have probably forgotten appointments in their lives and sometimes an appointment is simply inconvenient.
The National Disability Services (NDS) ‘State of the Sector’ report highlighted that the number one priority for NDIS providers in relation to improving their business capability in 2019, is ‘Information, communications and tech strategy’, ranking ahead of ‘costing and pricing’ and ‘HR strategy and workforce planning’.
Over the last months, CBB has facilitated a review of some of the many Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/database products on the market that purport to be NDIS-ready, to assist NDIS providers to understand which products should be on their radar.
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Just like the recall letter for a dental check-up NDIS providers in SA and NSW have recently received their letter from the NDIS Commission outlining the start date for registration renewal. The application for renewal will involve a self-assessment followed by a field audit conducted by a NDIS Commission-approved NDIS quality auditor.
While some providers are already expected to start the process by October, others are due for their check-up in 2019. Most providers are aware that the new Quality & Safeguards Framework has introduced a list of requirements however we have noticed some misconceptions about compliance which we aim to brush away:
Misconception # 1: You only brush your teeth when you see the dentist.
Over the next 18 months while NDIA struggles to catch up with the delayed NDIS roll-out nationally, we expect that the quality of formal NDIS plans being generated by planners will continue to be mostly sub-standard, simply because planners can’t afford adequate time to facilitate thorough planning.
What to do?
Well, in NSW and SA, NDIS providers are already compelled to prepare a participant ‘Support Plan’ in relation to the services they are providing, per the NDIS Commission’s Practice Standard Core Module Part 4 section 19. The Support Plan must support achievement of goals as described in a client’s NDIS plan.
We suggest that this is the perfect opportunity to address any shortcomings of the NDIS plan, and to get to know your customer better by working with them to prepare a good quality plan for the services that you will provide them. Naturally your support plan will need to link to the all-important funded goals in the NDIS plan, but this is an opportunity to go much further and breathe life into the NDIS participant’s life aspirations.
What does a good quality person-centred plan look like? A good plan will articulate SMART goals, something we see only occasionally in NDIS plans. Continue reading…
Prof Bruce Bonyhady is Executive Chair and Director of the Melbourne Disability Institute, an inter-disciplinary research institute at the University of Melbourne, and was the inaugural chair of the NDIA from 2013 to 2016. As one of the original architects of the NDIS, Prof Bonyhady still holds true to the founding principles, which are becoming somewhat lost in the face of a very challenging implementation schedule. Prof Bonyhady spoke at a recent CBB event for disability service providers in South Australia. Here are his recommended actions that governments should take in order to get back on track and deliver the NDIS sustainably, many of which are aligned to the conclusions of the Productivity Commission Review of NDIS Costs, published late last year. Continue reading…