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 2018 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.
NDIA CEO delivers special NDIS progress update
NDIA CEO Rob De Luca has released his July progress update, a special fifth birthday edition given the NDIS has just celebrated this significant milestone. There are some important messages in there which are relevant to Providers. Some of the highlights of the progress report include:
Five year anniversary of the NDIS
On 1 July 2013, the first four NDIS trial sites opened, allowing for people with disability to join this world leading Scheme. The Scheme now supports over 160,000 people through their NDIS plan and the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) pathway, and many more are connecting to services through the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building grants.
There are now over 14,000 registered NDIS providers supporting participants to achieve their goals.
The NDIS in Western Australia
Transition for new NDIS participants has just begun in WA. Participants in selected geographical locations who did not enter the state administered WA NDIS can now join the Scheme. You can find out more about the WA transition on the Western Australia transition webpage on the NDIS website.
Autism Advisory Group
An Autism Advisory Group featuring a wide range of stakeholders, including members of the autistic community, has been established to provide feedback to the NDIA. The group has been formed to ensure the delivery of a Scheme that supports people with autism to choose and achieve their goals.
Independent Pricing Review (IPR)
On 1 July the NDIA initiated the first round of measures to address the 25 recommendations identified from the IPR. These measures address issues such as regional travel costs, temporary support for overheads, cancellation policies for core supports, and more flexible group community participation supports. This will give providers immediate support to transition to the NDIS, and make sure participants can find the services they need to implement their plan.
More information can be found on the NDIS website’s IPR page.
The full July progress update from the CEO can be found on the NDIS website’s ‘From the CEO’ page.
The NDIS Commission is now operational for NSW and SA providers
As of July 1, the NDIS Commission now manages the registration and quality assurance of NDIS providers in New South Wales and South Australia under the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework. The NDIA will no longer have the authority to approve registration applications for providers in these states.
Providers operating in states and territories other than NSW and SA will not be affected until the NDIS Commission becomes active in their states. This is scheduled to commence from 1 July 2019 in the ACT, Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria, and in Western Australia in 2020
The registration process and ongoing management of registration has now changed for providers operating in NSW and SA.
- Registration details for providers in NSW and SA who were already registered with the NDIA have now automatically transferred to the NDIS Commission. You can now login to the NDIS Commission Portal to manage your registration.
- For new providers wanting to offer services in NSW and SA, you must register with the NDIS Commission. You can then login to the NDIS Commission Portal to manage your registration upon completion.
While the NDIS Commission will be responsible for the registration and regulation of NDIS providers in NSW and SA, all providers will continue to interact with the NDIA in the myplace provider portal for a range of functions including service bookings, payment requests and viewing participants’ plans.
There are now two portals to manage for providers in NSW and SA, but don’t worry, providers can switch quickly and easily from one portal to the other with the click of a button to complete required actions in the appropriate place.
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.