Therapy services are crucial supports for many NDIS participants.
The NDIA, through the Pricing Reference Group, conducted a review of the price control arrangements and other market settings for therapy services under the NDIS from December 2018 to March 2019.
The Therapy Services Review provided the opportunity to analyse and understand the specific challenges in this market. The review is now complete, including a report tabled through the Pricing Reference Group with 13 recommendations directly related to pricing. These recommendations have been endorsed by the Pricing Reference Group and the NDIA Board and are being implemented as part of the NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue 2019–20.
Two support levels of therapy assistants are included in the NDIS Price Guide 2019–20, effective 1 July 2019.
Adding an additional level of support and defining the roles of therapy assistants provides more flexibility when assigning personnel to deliver supports and therefore more cost-effective services.
Providers can also apply billing arrangements for therapy assistants such as travel, cancellations and non-face-to-face time.
The two levels of Therapy Assistant are defined as follows:
- Therapy Assistant (level 1): Allied health assistant working under the delegation of and direct supervision at all times of a therapist. The allied health assistant must be covered by the professional indemnity insurance of the supervising therapist (or the therapist’s employing provider)
- Therapy Assistant (level 2): Allied health assistant working under the delegation and supervision of a therapist, where the therapist is satisfied that the allied health assistant is able to work independently without direct supervision at all times. The allied health assistant must be covered by the professional indemnity insurance of the supervising therapist (or the therapists’ employing provider).
These support items are introduced following feedback and consultation with therapists, in particular to clarify and where appropriate promote use of therapy assistants and how their time is claimed.
Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI)
In line with the changes to therapy in the NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue 2019ؘ–20, some Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) supports have had price limit increases.
ECEI has been updated with 12 new support line item numbers and descriptions with different price limits across different supports and regions.
The name and definition of ECEI supports now references ‘capacity building supports for early childhood’. Key worker role is now included in the same description.
This change enables family and carers to choose between or interchange a mix of different supports based on participant needs at different times of development.
Before making any changes to prices, providers and participants’ families and carers need to discuss and agree to any proposed changes. Once agreed, providers will need to update the relevant service bookings to reflect the changes agreed.