In the world of NDIS there are several reviews and reports underway, complete or about to start. We understand that your heads are down while you busily run your businesses – so grab a cuppa and let us run through the headlines of what’s happening.
THE ROYAL COMMISSION INTO VIOLENCE, ABUSE, NEGLECT AND EXPLOITATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY
The final report for this Royal Commission was recently made public following three years of hearings, many of them containing harrowing evidence, and over 10,000 written submissions. Consisting of 12 volumes and 222 recommendations it took a no-holds barred look at the mistreatment of our citizens with disabilities. While we like to think that most of these issues are historical, sadly, the evidence provided indicates that we are a long, long way from ensuring that people with disability are accessing safe and high-quality support; and true, authentic inclusion continues to be something that feels out of reach. We all know that this is completely unacceptable and we hope that the report’s recommendations are both taken seriously and adequately resourced. This, alongside honest co-design, moves Australia towards a community that no longer presents barriers and fears to people with disabilities.
You can find the final report here. https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/publications/final-report
You can read the written submissions here: https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/submissions
In its initial response to the Report the Federal Government have announced a taskforce which will be comprised of representation from the relevant government departments to triage the recommendations and determine where policy makers might begin to focus their efforts. We hope to see representation from people with disability on this taskforce. You can read this announcement here. https://ministers.dss.gov.au/media-releases/12656
We anticipate that these changes, many of which involve modification to legislation and in some areas wholesale, systemic policy shifts, will take some time to plan and implement. They will also have a reliance on the states and territories to come on board alongside a healthy serving of negotiation.
We also feel that the NDIS Commission, who are already under considerable pressure and where relationships with Participants and Providers broke down long ago, will be in for some significant shaking up.
THE NDIS REVIEW
The NDIS Review was announced by Minister Shorten shortly after he took office and the report is due any day now.
This review looked across the functionality and operations of the NDIS and consulted many stakeholders including Participants and Providers. Communications from the Review Panel indicate that we will see recommendations for significant change in this report. We have heard much about their wish to reform Early Childhood and there are likely to be some strong messages for the NDIA and the NDIS Commission in this report too.
We understand that government will consider the recommendations of this report together with those from the Royal Commission to make decisions about where they are best to focus their efforts.
Our wish is for these organisations to understand that the NDIS has forced providers into a fee for service business model which has a different set of needs to a block funded system; a workforce who understand these needs from the Board to the frontline and policy that truly reflects that they are serving human beings with disabilities who sometimes require rapid and clear responsiveness especially in times of crisis.
Keep an eye on the Nacre Consulting socials for information when this report is released.
THE ANNUAL PRICING REVIEW (APR)
That dreaded time of the year where we must prove our worth to those who make the pricing decisions is almost upon us again. We are hoping that this year we are not fighting to prevent a fee cut as we have been in recent years, one which would have seen the demise of many businesses.
To all who are exhausted by the ongoing rhetoric about the cost of therapy this is your chance to have your say. I think that it’s safe to say that’s about everyone reading this article.
The Annual Pricing Review consultations will be held from November 2023 onwards. There will be an opportunity to provide a submission in writing, which is likely to be the more powerful method (especially if you all post the submissions on your websites but let’s talk about that a little later).
Nacre Consulting is urging all Allied Health businesses to make a submission to the APR. We will be supporting the Allied Health sector with some strategies and the key points to include.
Once again, keep a close eye on our socials for the APR drop along with our plan to support Allied Health through this next pricing review.
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