DIA joins peaks in calling for independent and transparent pricing.

Well-designed pricing and payment frameworks can improve participant outcomes, increase service quality and support NDIS sustainability

Pricing decisions need to align incentives for participants, workers, providers, and government.

  • Participants need pricing that enables them to get the right supports, at the right time from the right people.
  • Workers need price settings that support secure ongoing employment, with wages that reflect the skills they bring on to this essential work.
  • Providers need prices that reflect the true cost of delivering high quality services and enable them to invest in their workforce.
  • Everyone needs a NDIS that delivers value for money, meets its objectives and enhances human rights.

We hear reports of price gouging, over-charging or over-servicing. At the same time participants cannot easily access information on quality and prices. Providers are increasingly concerned that they will not be able to provide supports under the current price caps set by the NDIA. Workers are feeling the impact of restrictive funding levels, resulting in less supervision and support, training and paid hours.

On the current pricing arrangements NDIS Review Member, DIA Member and Executive Director of Community Connections  & My Choice My Support Mr Dougie Herd said:

“I believe that genuinely independent, skilled support coordination is essential so that NDIS participants can maximise choice and achieve real control over their supports. Navigating formal systems isn’t easy. We all know how complex the NDIS can be. We know how fractured the relationships between the NDIS and other service systems have become. Good coordination helps participants to increase their agency within complex systems.

Good navigation requires investment. We’re a not-for-profit, independent support coordination and plan management provider with charitable status. We pay Award wages and conditions.  No one does our work to get rich. But our team is passionate, committed and supportive of helping people with disability achieve their full human rights.

We’re in the 5th year of a price freeze. We’ve gone from making a small surplus to making a loss that’s getting bigger each year because of that price freeze. We employ fewer people than 5 years ago. We support more people. And because we’re genuinely independent we have no other income to fall back on. We are on the edge.

It’s long past time the NDIA recognised the peril we and others like us face. End the freeze. Invest in a future built around good quality providers like us and other members of DIA.”

NDIS pricing and approaches to date have not responded to these issues and are failing to support sector sustainability, innovation in service delivery for participants or wage growth for workers. The NDIS Review final report recommends reform to pricing and payment frameworks to improve incentives for providers to deliver quality supports to participants (NDIS Review recommendation 11). This includes transitioning responsibility for advising on NDIS pricing to an independent authority.

As representative bodies, we welcome the government’s early support of recommendations from the NDIS Review in the 2024 Budget to improve pricing approaches. We call on government to take the next steps and commit to work with people with disability and the sector to set the stage for a new era of transparent and independent NDIS pricing.

The NDIA is currently responsible for setting prices and price rules as a part of its Annual Price Review. At the same time the NDIA must ensure that the NDIS is sustainable. Inevitably pricing becomes a tool to offset budget pressures rather than a vehicle to deliver quality, participant outcomes or ensure service availability.

DIA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jess Harper said:

“The NDIA appears to utilise provider pricing as a scheme sustainability lever. Valuing scheme sustainability and long tail efficiency over provider quality, independence, innovation and continuous improvement. DIA has been warning the NDIA of downward pressure on quality and perverse outcomes as a result of its pricing policy. DIA is not surprised that in the intermediaries sector we continue to see Support Coordinators in mass not renewing there registration, not because the don’t want to, but because the Price Cap NDIA applies does not factor the cost of registration and audit. 

Support Coordination and Plan Management charge significantly lower prices than equivalent or similar services delivered in Aged Care, iCARE, TAC or Worksafe.

People with a disability are seeing high quality providers, cease registration, cease services and be forced to close their doors. This creates a race to the bottom on quality, drive providers to deliver a multitude of supports without proper or adequate oversight of their conflict of interest.

The only way to resolve it and to stop the ongoing cycle of sleepless nights for providers every year, wondering if this is the year they will be forced to close is the creation of a price regulator independent of the NDIA and government departments. This would bring NDIS price regulation in line with the approach adopted by health and aged care systems, essential services price regulators whilst responding to recommendations made by the Productivity Commission and the NDIS Review.”

Media Requests
To arrange an interview with or comment from DIA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jess Harper, please email media@intermediaries.org.au



DIA is a members-based organisation. We are only able to do the work that we do because of the ongoing support of our members. Thank you to all DIA members that continue to support the work we do. If you’re a provider delivering Support Coordination or Plan Management are not yet a member, you should consider joining. Click here to join from our homepage.