Sunday, 26 June 2022

    NDIS aims to reduce costs

    The agency that runs the national disability insurance scheme is seeking to increase the number of people that “exit” the scheme and reduce overall spending on funding packages through a “targeted review of existing participant plans”, internal documents show, The Guardian reports.

    Leaked documents last month revealed the agency had set up a Sustainability Action Taskforce (SAT) with the aim of slowing spending on participant plans and growth in participant numbers.

    The National Disability Insurance Agency has refused to discuss the actions of the taskforce, which Labor and the Greens have dubbed a “razor gang”. But new documents obtained by Guardian Australia under freedom of information laws provide further insight into its aims.

    The previously reported internal talking points, labelled “strictly not for external distribution”, stated the taskforce’s three aims were to “slow net growth in participant numbers”, “slow growth in spend per participant”, and “strengthen operational discipline”.

    The new documents, however, reveal the attempt to slow the growth in participant numbers will come, in part, from a focus on an “increase [in] participant exits”.

    Further, slowing spending on participants’ funding packages will be achieved in part by a “targeted review of existing participant plans”, the documents state.

    Other objectives include a focus on “tighter planning principles”, “tighter policies on specific reasonable and necessary supports”, “tighter price controls”, and an “increased enforcement of assurance policies”.

    The unit’s aims relate to internal decisions made by the agency’s planners and are separate to a wider overhaul scheme through the controversial introduction of independent assessments, or a rewriting of the NDIS Act that determines in law what can be funded and who can receive support.

    It comes as the government faces a backlash from the disability community over its warning the scheme is increasingly unsustainable.


    ‘Utterly unconscionable’: NDIS agency looks to reduce costs by increasing ‘participant exits’ (The Guardian)