NDIS Pricing – Just Keep Swimming

Another year, another NDIS pricing review without a therapy price increase. It is understandable if Allied Health Business Owners are feeling less than valued, the work that so many of you did in submitting to the review seemingly disregarded along with the data shown by the Disability Roundtable at the recent Disability Services Consulting conference indicating that many Allied Health services are no longer viable. With the passing of the disappointment will come solution finding, because that’s who you are. We know that so many of you are already adapting your services and fees to ensure continued client outcomes and business sustainability. Let us see if we can help you along. 

You Have Proven Strength  

Your businesses have survived the COVID pandemic, pivoted on a five cent piece to tele practice during the pandemic, competed hard for non-existent talent offering the very best salaries and conditions that you can afford. Your business acumen has shifted from strength to strength and your teams are right there with you. You have found agility that you didn’t know you had to track alongside the rapid policy changes that the NDIS has thrown at you and you have kept your heads above water through these very challenging economic times.  

What an incredible crew you are.  

But where to next?  

Review Your Service Iceberg 

Here at Nacre Consulting we often talk with our members about their clinical service icebergs. This powerful, visual model depicts the relationship between the seen direct service and the unseen indirect service required for your clients to achieve their goals. When an Allied Health Business determines their service fees they take all of this into account, the seen and the unseen work required. At first glance, noting the NDIS price caps, it may feel that it’s just not possible to change to a more leveraged value model. We get it, it takes a lot of thinking time, planning and careful implementation.  

However there are clear pricing rules within the NDIS that state that most of that under the water, unseen work that your clinicians are doing, when it is directly related to a client, their program and outcomes, can be included in your invoicing. 

For a start, consider running a time audit for your clinicians during the course of a week or two to measure the unseen, indirect work that they may in fact already be doing. This process creates some extra admin for them for that short period but I have yet to meet a business owner whose team were not stunned by the amount of unacknowledged, indirect work that they were doing for their clients that could be invoiced. Typically our calculations add up to tens of thousands of dollars of necessary, ethical goal supporting clinical work that is left unbilled per clinician, per year.  

The only way that the NDIA will understand how much work you are putting into ensuring that your clients are achieving outcomes is via the data.

You can no longer afford to do the unseen work for free.

Why do psych get an increase and no one else?

There may be a few reasons for this but as s starting place their peak is clear about their pricing worth and their members charge out consistently far higher than the NDIS rate for everyone.

Please, stop charging different fees for clients with NDIS plans and those without.

Time To Diversify 

Like many Allied Health Business Owners, you can’t be blamed for being at the end of your tether with the NDIS. If this Price Guide is not enough for you to decide that a clientele outside of the NDIS would alleviate some of the pain, surely the next ten or so years of proposed but still largely unknown reform will. 

When time permits, analyse and decide who your ideal client is. Double down on what you are already great at and embrace that sweet spot for your clinical services that returns proven outcomes. Determine the strengths of your team and plan to leverage these like crazy, sooner rather than later. Explore those hunches you have about gaps in the market and how you can act fast to serve this opportunity.  

Hone your marketing prowess, strengthen your relationships with referral partners and upskill your team to proudly message your business brand. Sourcing new clients is presenting as a first time and significant challenge across the sector right now, don’t slack off and step back from your marketing trusting that it will automatically pick up, it may not.  

Hone your service offering, let your business owner imagination fly and perhaps re-visit those dreams that may be fading on your office whiteboard. Now is when to run a business case on alternative revenue streams, new opportunities and boldly step into these projects. Start small, build sales funnels, Minimum Viable Product’s, learn fast and bring in plans to expand these new offers. It will take creativity, courage and time to diversify, however it may well be worth persisting and reducing your NDIS anxiety.  

Tap your resources and networks 

If you haven’t connected with a proactive and informed network of like-minded business owners and colleagues, now is the time to do that. It takes a village as they say. Local Allied Health Business meet ups and conversations may hit the mark, mix in coffee chats and walks to debrief, discuss and strategise and before you know it your business buddies are right there with you. We would love to welcome you to our amazing Private Practice Made Perfect Facebook Group 

Business mentors and coaches may be the right step for you now too. We would be delighted to speak with you to explore where things are at right now and how we may be able to help.  

Book your free chat here  

Our members are an incredible group of Allied Health Business Owners. From start ups to well established business and organisations, all are in business for the right reasons and willing to share their experiences and suggestions. They provide a range of clinical services from both rural, remote and metro environments. Our weekly Coaching Zones and our Members Hub buzz with questions, answers and wholehearted support.  

Just Keep Swimming 

When your business success feels like it is at the whim of government policy, it is understandable to feel fear and despair when those policies, lets add the shifting goals posts as well here, do not work in your favour.  

However, we take this moment to remind you that you are an Allied Health Professional and that in every fibre of your being, you are at heart, a powerful problem solver. You have been supporting others to find solutions that get them to their goals for years and it’s time to apply those skills to yourself and your business. Acknowledge the emotions, call them out and process them. They are valid. 

Then choose the first small piece to target and get to work. 

Give us a call if you need a hand.

In the words of the fabulous Dory, Just. Keep. Swimming.  

You’ve got this. 

Chantelle Robards
Chantelle Robards, Specialist Coach at Nacre Consulting has a long history with supporting the NDIS marketplace through provision of technical information and advocacy. As a speech pathologist who continues to support a small caseload she has comprehensive insight into the business community especially with regards to the NDIS. Chantelle's ultimate goal is to ensure an ethical and thriving market place that provides the very best of support to all Australians who are seeking it.

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