New hearing supports FAQs now available for providers
The NDIA has released new hearing supports Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for hearing practitioners to confirm:
- the current transitional arrangements between the Hearing Services Program, Australian Hearing and the NDIS
- what hearing practitioners can and cannot do under the NDIS
- participant eligibility for NDIS hearing supports
- advice for clients interested in accessing NDIS for hearing supports.
The provider hearing supports FAQs can be accessed on the NDIS website.
Provider registration process changes to Vic, Qld, Tas, ACT and the NT
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) will take responsibility for provider registration, and other functions for Vic, Qld, Tas, ACT and NT providers from 1 July 2019.
Providers are encouraged to keep their registration details up to date to ensure a smooth transition to the NDIS Commission which will take place on 1 July 2019. Providers can update their information in the myplace provider portal. No other action will be required as part of this transition.
The NDIS Commission will contact registered providers prior to the transition with key information.
The NDIS Commission replaces the current quality and safeguards arrangements that operate in each state and territory as they reach full Scheme.
Under the NDIS Commission, a single registration and regulatory system will reduce duplication and inconsistency and make it easier for you to operate in multiple jurisdictions.
While the NDIS Commission will be responsible for provider registration as states and territories reach full Scheme, providers will continue to interact with the NDIA for a range of functions including service bookings, payment requests, and viewing participants’ plans in the myplace portal.
A fact sheet for providers about the Commission is available on the NDIS Commission website.
The NDIS Commission began operation in NSW and SA on 1 July 2018 and will commence operation in WA from 1 July 2020.
Provider portal enhanced with Google Maps
On 3 December 2018, the NDIA added Google Maps to the Provider Finder interactive search service on the myplace portal, to help participants locate registered providers.
The new function will display the provider location and estimated travel time by car, public transport or other modes of transport and will allow users to find directions from a location—such as a home address—to a registered provider’s address.
For providers to receive the full benefits of the application, enabling participants to find you, it is important that you keep your registration details up to date.
Providers operating in NSW and/or SA can update their information through the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission portal.
Providers operating in Vic, Qld, WA, Tas, ACT and the NT can update their information in the myplace provider portal.
Enhancements to the Provider Finder service have been rolling out since May 2018 to make it easier for participants to navigate and find information about available services and providers. More enhancements to the Provider Finder are scheduled in the coming months.
New participant plan format
The NDIA has launched a new-look participant plan which provides:
- clearer definitions of the participant’s NDIS funded supports
- clarity on how these supports contribute to achieving the participant’s goals
- a clearer picture of all the supports in the plan, including those provided by other government services, community and informal sources.
A sample plan has been added to the Example documents page in the Provider Toolkit to help providers understand the changes.
The new plan is now in a consistent format across the myplace portal, PDF format and hard copy versions and includes NDIS contact information for the participant’s:
- LAC or ECEI Coordinator - for participants that receive support from our partners during plan implementation, or
- NDIS planner - for participants that do not have a LAC or ECEI Coordinator.
Participants will be transitioned to the improved format when their new plan is created or existing plan is reviewed.
It is important to note that participants continue to maintain choice and control over who they share their plan with, including service providers.
Plan management and support coordination
Plan management and support coordination bring significant value to participants and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by facilitating self-direction, participant choice and quality outcomes.
The NDIA is making improvements to policies and processes associated with plan management and support coordination. Earlier this year, we examined the core functions of these two important service areas including all previous reports and recommendations.
We are now developing operational frameworks that will include policies, processes and practice guidance to clarify the roles and responsibilities of Plan Managers and Support Coordinators. The frameworks are currently scheduled for completion in late 2018, and implementation from 2019.
We will soon begin further sector engagement and consultation to refine guidance, and to test proposed changes and likely market responses.
In the meantime, we have added answers to the most common plan management and support coordination questions to the Frequently Asked Questions page in the Provider Toolkit.
WA quality and safeguarding update
The Quality and Safeguards Working Arrangements for transition in Western Australia (WA) are in place and now available on the NDIS website.
Providers in WA are encouraged to familiarise themselves and ensure they comply with these requirements.
Quality and safeguards standards and legislation are put in place to ensure NDIS participants receive quality services from the providers they choose to support them under the NDIS. During transition to full Scheme, NDIS registered providers are required to comply with existing Commonwealth, State and Territory quality and safeguards legislation supported by the Working Arrangements.
A nationally consistent approach to NDIS quality and safeguards is currently being rolled out across the country. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) — a new independent Commonwealth body — will be the regulator under the national approach.
The NDIS Commission has begun operating in NSW and SA, and will roll out in other states and territories from July 2019, except for WA where operation will commence in July 2020.
Updates to the provider and participant portals
On Monday 15 October 2018, enhancements were made to the myplace portal to make it easier for participants and providers to find and use information. The changes, including more search features and access to new reporting tools, are outlined below. In addition, we have since added another enhancement to the service bookings downloadable report function. Reports will now include all service bookings that are active in the current 90 day period.
Providers now have the option to:
- search and sort their service bookings more rapidly using a simple text box search.
- download a report containing their service bookings and information such as participant name, support category, allocated and remaining amounts and date last modified.
- download a report containing participant plan information that the provider has consent to view.
- set how often they want to receive correspondence to their portal inbox about service booking changes.
- extend service booking end dates with acknowledgement of participant consent.
Participants now have the option to search by provider name or provider registration number using a simple search text box, to find both active and inactive service bookings.
Updated step by step guides that explain the new functionality are now available in the Provider Toolkit.
Improved Provider Supported Independent Living (SIL) Pack
The SIL Pack and SIL Quoting Tool have been updated so providers can submit SIL quotes quickly, easily and accurately. The new pack has been re-designed in consultation with more than 100 providers and incorporates feedback collected over the last 12 months.
The improved design and functionality in the new SIL tool includes:
- the capacity to add yearly indexation
- inbuilt checks that alert a provider to incomplete, duplicate or incorrect information
- greater transparency and insight
- a section where providers can input hourly rates and the tool will calculate the costing of the quote.
The improved Provider SIL Pack contains templates and tools to support the SIL process, including the following:
- SIL Quoting Template – for use when submitting a quote to NDIA
- Provider SIL Tool – an automated Excel spreadsheet that allows providers to accurately quote on a participant’s support needs
- Provider SIL Tool Examples – a sample SIL quote that shows providers how a SIL quote should be developed, prior to submitting to NDIA
- Guide to using the Provider SIL Pack – information to help providers use the tool and answer any questions they might have
- Subsequent SIL Quote Template – enables providers to re-submit the same quote as the previous year, when a participant’s circumstances are unchanged.
The new Provider SIL Pack resources and tools are available on the NDIS website. Please email us at SIL [at] ndis.gov.au for further assistance.
The latest NDIS Quarterly Report is now available
The report summarises the performance and operations of the NDIS from 1 April to 30 June, 2018. During this time the provider market grew by 17% to 16,755 registered providers. The NDIS related workforce is estimated to grow by 90,000 workers by 2020.
Other information available in the report includes:
- a breakdown of participant and provider growth and characteristics
- initiatives in progress to develop a competitive provider market
- a recap of important price changes as at 1 July 2018
- how the scheme is tracking against budget, and more.
The full report is available on the NDIS website.
myplace provider portal enhancement
The NDIA is making enhancements to the provider portal as part of its commitment to improving the participant and provider experience with the NDIS. The next enhancement scheduled for deployment will be to the participant search functionality.
When searching for a participant in the myplace portal, providers will now be asked to include the following participant information:
- NDIS number
- Date of birth
All of this information must be provided to initiate a participant search. We acknowledge that more information is now required when searching for participants, but this will help you to find and connect with the right participant more effectively.
The change will not impact existing service bookings, or alter the current process for making a service booking once the provider has found the correct participant.
The myplace provider portal must be taken offline while this enhancement is made to the participant search function. We expect this to happen on the evening of Thursday, 6 September, however should this change, we will inform you as soon as possible. When updating the portal, we generally take the system offline during periods of lower demand, such as late in the evening, and try to minimise the time it is unavailable. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
If you are unable to search for a participant, please contact us on 1800 800 110 for further assistance.
Indexation portal issue resolved
Recently, we released enhancements to the myplace portal which gave providers and participants the ability to edit service bookings.
However, service bookings amended by the NDIA due to pricing indexation changes in July 2018 could not be edited.
This issue has now been resolved and from 10 September 2018 participants and providers will be able to edit participant and/or provider initiated service bookings.
As per current practice, NDIA initiated service bookings cannot be edited.
The NDIA is committed to improving the experience for participants and providers with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Please call 1800 800 110 for assistance with NDIA initiated service bookings.
August updates to the participant and provider portals
Further enhancements to the service booking system are now available. Providers will have a new dashboard listing of the participants they provide a service for with shortcuts to:
- view plans (subject to consent from the participant)
- create and view service bookings
- create payment requests.
Providers will also have the option to:
- delete service bookings that do not have a payment or claim
- review a daily message sent to their myplace inbox, that displays all service bookings needing further action by them.
Providers should note that the changes will also give participants the option to:
- remove a service booking that has not yet been accepted by a provider
- choose to receive an SMS advising them of any changes a provider has made to a service booking*.
*As a result participants may see an increase in the number of SMS messages they receive. If they do not want to receive these notifications you can advise them to:
- use the NDIS myplace participant portal: Step by Step Guide's “About Me” section found on the NDIS website to change their preferred electronic notifications options.
- contact the NDIA NCC and request a change to their preferred correspondence (or any personal details).
These changes are part of a schedule of improvements to the NDIS online systems. The first round of improvements were made on 23 July 2018. To read about these improvements visit NDIS News.
We have listened to your feedback and are committed to reducing administrative burden for providers. There will be ongoing rollout of improvements to system functionality over the next 12 months.
Guidance for these system enhancements will be continually updated to support both participants and providers.
Provider Guides can be found on the Provider Toolkit.
July updates to the participant and provider portals
Providers and participants have been given more control of their service bookings through the NDIS online portal. They can now amend or cancel service bookings without waiting for National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) staff to process requests.
The online tool used by participants to find a provider has also been upgraded with maps to display provider locations, an improved search function to show provider opening hours and if new referrals are being accepted, increased geographic search capabilities, and a new design with guided help text to improve accessibility.
Portal enhancements give participants and providers the options to:
- edit or delete new service bookings
- increase and decrease the duration, price and quantity of each service booking
- immediately cancel a service booking
- insert a rejection reason or explanatory note while rejecting a revision to a service booking
The changes apply to all participant and provider initiated service bookings created since 9 July 2018. For bookings made prior to 9 July 2018, changes will take effect in subsequent upgrades.
Provider Finder enhancements:
- make it easier to find providers, their location and hours of operation information
- make it easier to find the right service in a participant’s preferred location
- provide a mapping tool to give a more precise search response and show location
- allow participants to search for providers beyond the current 50km limit
- improve usability and accessibility through the roll out of a new visual design and guided help text
Further portal enhancements will be rolled out progressively over the next 12 months.
For more information visit NDIS News.
Updated Provider Registration Guide to Suitability
The ‘NDIS Provider Registration Guide to Suitability’ provides information to assist providers understand their quality, safeguards and compliance obligations as registered providers of supports in each state or territory. The guide has been updated in line with the commencement of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) and rollout of the NDIS in Western Australia (WA) from 1 July, 2018. Changes include:
- changes to quality and safeguards registration requirements in New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia (SA)
- registration process for providers in WA
- minor updates to the Queensland, Tasmania, Northern Territory, Victoria and Commonwealth sections
- other miscellaneous updates
NSW and SA:
As of 1 July, the NDIS Commission is responsible for the registration and regulation of NDIS providers in NSW and SA. The NDIA is no longer able to approve registration applications for providers in these states. Instead, applications for registration as a provider should be made to the NDIS Commission. More information about the changes can be found on the Commission’s website.
Providers in NSW and SA will continue to transact with the NDIA to make service bookings, payment requests, and view participants’ plans in the myplace portal.
A new section for WA providers has been added to the guide to support the rollout of the NDIS in WA from 1 July 2018. This section outlines the NDIA’s registration process for existing state funded providers, new providers, existing providers looking to expand services, and existing Commonwealth funded providers. The guide reflects quality and safeguards working arrangements for transition in WA, which are currently under development between the state government, Commonwealth and NDIA.
Other states and territories and Commonwealth:
Minor clarification updates have been made to the Queensland, Tasmania, Northern Territory, Victoria and Commonwealth sections of the guide.
Providers are encouraged to read the ‘NDIS Provider Registration Guide to Suitability’, and find out more about Quality and Safeguards requirements for each state via the NDIS website.
If you have any questions about this update, please email quality.safeguards [at] ndis.gov.au.
Important Update on 2018/19 Indexation
All participant plans with an end date after 1 July 2018 have now been indexed in line with the new 2018-19 price guide. As has been the case in previous years, relevant values in participant plans have received a pro-rata adjustment in the system to match the new price caps. This adjustment does not change existing agreements that providers have with participants, however providers will see some changes in service booking details.
To ensure appropriate indexing occurred, service bookings created at the line item level were end dated on 30 June 2018 and a new service booking was created post 1 July 2018 to cover the remaining period of the participant plan. Please note, service bookings created at the category were not end dated. Rather an indexed amount was applied to the entire service booking.
The pro-rata amount was calculated on the basis that support hours are evenly distributed across the life of the service booking.
The NDIA acknowledges that participants can spread their support as they wish across the life of their service agreement, and some participants may prefer to use more support at the end of their service agreement. In some instances, where this is the case, this may mean there is insufficient funding in the post 1 July 2018 service booking to cover the cost of supports delivered post 1 July.
There may also be providers who have delivered supports to participants prior to 30 June 2018 who have not yet claimed. In most circumstances there should be sufficient remaining funds in the service booking for the period up to 30 June to enable providers to claim for these supports delivered. Where there is sufficient budget in the service booking, providers are able to submit payment requests for services post 1 July 2018.
If the pro-rata amount in either the old or new service booking is insufficient to cover the cost of supports delivered, the provider will need to contact the NDIA to request the affected service bookings be updated.
Indexation will not be applied to periodic transport payment and In Kind items, or if a service booking requires a quote and it has been received and approved.
Providers who are having difficulty claiming payments through the provider portal can contact the National Provider Payment Team on provider.payment [at] ndis.gov.au with the Subject Field clearly identified as ‘Indexation Issue’.
Should a provider and participant choose to renegotiate or enter into a new agreement, this adjustment ensures participants have the capacity to agree to pay amounts up to the new price caps. It is important providers refer to the Terms of Business for Registered Providers before commencing discussions to ensure they are complying with NDIA requirements.
The 2018/19 Price Guide now available
Each year the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) undertakes an annual review of price controls applicable to NDIS supports and services. In June 2017 the NDIA commissioned an Independent Price Review (IPR) to address concerns from providers across Australia around price limits. As a result, a number of changes have been made to pricing, effective 1 July 2018.
2018/19 Price Guide
The price guide is a summary of NDIS price limits and associated arrangements, which are updated and effective from 1 July each year taking into account market trends, changes in costs and wage rates. The guide helps participants and disability support providers, both current and prospective, to understand how price controls for supports and services work in the NDIS. The NDIA sets price controls for certain NDIS supports to ensure NDIS participants obtain reasonable value from their support packages.
The 2018/19 Price Guide is now available on the NDIS website. In addition to changes as part of the annual review, the NDIA has also adjusted price limits to reflect inflation and wage growth in response to recommendations from the Independent Price Review (IPR - refer section below). These price increases include:
- Assistance with Daily Life
- Standard 1:1 supports – 7.64%
- High intensity 1:1 supports – 5.14%
- Short term accommodation – 3.94%-4.90%
- Consumables – 1.90%
- Assistance with social and community participation
- Standard 1:1 supports – 7.64%
- Standard group based supports in the community – up to 33.53%1
- Standard group based supports in a centre – up to 7.64%1
- High intensity 1:1 supports - 5.14%
- High intensity group-based supports in the community – up to 10.74%1
- High intensity group-based supports in a centre – new price limits
- Coordination of supports, improved living arrangements, increased social and community participation, finding and keeping a job, improved relationships, improved health and wellbeing, improved learning, choice and control (improved life choices) and improved daily living – 2.10%
The NDIA has also made a range of changes to the structure of the Price Guide to provide greater clarity and simplicity.
1 This range is due to new price limits with no direct link to a previous line item in 2017/18 and a new calculation method for group supports.
Independent Price Review (IPR)
McKinsey and Company were commissioned by the NDIA to conduct the IPR. Following their investigation, 25 recommendations were presented to the NDIA. Some of the recommendations from the IPR have been addressed as part of this latest round of changes to pricing including:
- Price limit increases overall (as outlined above).
- New pricing limits that recognise per person costs when delivering group supports, and include an allowance for capital costs when the supports are delivered in a specialist centre (outlined above).
- Temporary overhead loading introduced to support providers to transition their operations to the participant-led NDIS.
- Ability for providers of core supports and therapy to charge for cancellations.
- New claim limits for provider travel.
This IPR review is integral to the NDIA’s commitment to grow the market for disability supports and services, with a view to establishing a balance between demand and supply.
The NDIA is mindful that any large price increases may result in participants having less choice between supports they receive. This approach balances the need for reasonable price increases for providers and keeping supports affordable for participants.
The NDIA is committed to developing a vibrant and sustainable sector to ensure participants get improved outcomes.
Further information about the IPR and 2018/19 Price Guide can be found on the NDIA website, and in the FAQ section of the provider toolkit. Alternatively, providers are encouraged to call the NDIA hotline on 1800 800 110 if they have any further queries.
Implementation of Independent Pricing Review
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is continuing to progress 25 recommendations from an Independent Price Review (IPR) undertaken by McKinsey and Company in 2017, including changes to the NDIA Price Guide from 1 July 2018.
Working toward our commitment of developing a vibrant and sustainable provider sector we have prioritised 10 of the recommendations, which provide the most immediate support to providers.
The first 10 recommendations to be implemented by the NDIA are:
- 4 – Regional travel
- 9 – High intensity loading for centre-based activities
- 10 – Short term accommodation
- 14 – Temporary support for overheads (TSO)
- 15 – Cancellation policy for core supports
- 16 – Group supports
- 18 – Therapy assistants (phase one)
- 19 – Therapy travel (phase one)
- 20 – Cancellation policy for therapy
- 21 – Reports requested by the NDIA
Specific IPR recommendations will take effect from 1 July 2018. These changes give providers immediate support to meet challenges as they transition to the participant-led NDIS, and help ensure NDIS participants have access to the supports they need and greater choice and control over their supports.
Changes to the NDIA Price Guide from 1 July 2018 include:
- Price limits increase overall
- New pricing limits that recognise per person costs when delivering group supports, and include an allowance for capital costs when the supports are delivered in a specialist centre
- Temporary overhead loading introduced to support providers to transition their operations to the participant-led NDIS
- Ability for providers of core supports and therapy to charge for cancellations
- New claim limits for provider travel
Plan budgets and service bookings will be automatically updated to ensure participants are not adversely affected by price increases and can continue to purchase supports.
Following implementation of the first set of IPR recommendations, the NDIA will move immediately to finalise the next set of recommendations, including therapy price limits and complexity. Consultation with provider groups and experts from the sector in relation to these recommendations will occur prior to implementation. We expect the outcomes of the important work on therapy and complexity to be implemented in late 2018.
For more information:
Specialist Disability Accommodation Provider and Investor brief
- SDA funding principles including price reviews
- eligibility and funding levels for SDA
- some innovations made possible by SDA funding
- dwelling standards
- enrolment processes including work underway to develop third-party certification standards to improve confidence with compliance
In our role as market steward, the NDIA provides information about policies and processes relating to SDA to assist providers and investors in making informed decisions about investment and development opportunities in the sector.