Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) last week appeared before the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), warning that proposed reforms to the Scheme could render it unworkable and endangered the sustainability of allied health service providers.
AHPA was represented by Chair Cris Massis and CEO Claire Hewat, who told the Committee that a tiered fee structure, proposed by McKinsey & Company in their Independent Pricing Review, was too problematic to be implemented. The tiered fee structure was a key recommendation of the Review and has been endorsed by the Board of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
AHPA and its peak association members have been actively campaigning against the proposed changes since they were announced earlier this year. While the implementation of the therapy pricing changes have been delayed, AHPA and its members remain highly concerned that there has been little done to determine by whom and how participant complexity will be determined nor modelling undertaken to determine the impact this might have on participant access to services.
In addition to addressing pricing concerns, AHPA also spoke to other issues impacting on the readiness of the allied health sector noting the potential impact of the introduction of the Quality and Safeguarding Framework, particularly on small and solo providers. Foremost among our concerns are costs associated with third party verification and the need to provide support to assist providers to introduce new systems and processes as required by the Code of Conduct and Quality and Safeguarding Framework.
A number of AHPA members presented alongside AHPA. These included the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Occupational Therapy Australia and Speech Pathology Australia.
For more additional information about AHPA’s presentation to the Joint Standing Committee, please refer to our media release.