NDIS Independent Pricing Review: CEO update to members

As members are aware, the NDIA recently released the Independent Pricing Review (IPR) report that was produced by the McKinsey group, which has raised a number of serious concerns around the proposed tiered structure of payment, premised on the complexity of participants and the arbitrary assignment of intervention type of physical verses psychological service. The concerns raised by Speech Pathology Australia members are consistent the concerns of the Association and that of other allied health peak bodies. Strong advocacy with the NDIA has been occurring on many fronts, including a meeting last week held with NDIA senior officials and the Allied Health Professions Australia, including Speech Pathology Australia (the Association).

This week, I had the opportunity to speak to one of the Directors of the NDIA Board, Martin Laverty, who acknowledged our concerns and made the commitment to facilitate a meeting with the NDIA and the AHPA group (this meeting is currently being arranged). I was also able to speak with NDIA General Manager, Operations, Scott McNaughton, who indicated he was coordinating work in the area of determining complexity. Again I reinforced our concerns from a speech pathology specific perspective, as well as general concerns across allied health. Additionally, the Association has formally written to the NDIA CEO, Rob de Luca, with a comprehensive list of our issues and concerns, supported by the feedback and data obtained from the recent member survey. We thank you for your rapid response to this survey and for the comprehensive feedback provided. the Association is also negotiating a time to meet with Assistant Minister, Jane Prentice (Minister for Disability), and Hon Dan Tehan (Minister for Social Services).

Separately we have been contributing to letters and material prepared by AHPA, with these again sent to the NDIA CEO and relevant ministers, with requests for urgent meetings.

Messages the Association and other peak bodies are giving to the NDIA, is that there needs to be an immediate halt to implementation of the IPR recommendations, to allow full consultation with professional bodies and investigation of the impact on participants and the provider market. We have also reinforced that no consultation occurred with ourselves nor the other peak bodies, and these proposed changes fly in the face of NDIA’s commitment to a stronger provider pathway and consultative processes.

Speech Pathology Australia, like you, is very concerned at the implications of these changes on practices as well as impacts on quality service provision to participants. We will continue to advocate strongly on our members’ behalf and for those with communication and swallowing disability. We will keep you informed on all developments, and again the Association thanks you for your contributions and feedback to date.

Gail Mulcair
Chief Executive Officer

View an earlier post on NDIS Independent Pricing Review.