Implementation of the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will bring welcome changes to services for the 140,000 or so people with a disability, and those who support them. It will also have a major impact on organisations operating in the disability and community services sector.
If you operate in this sector, the organisation landscape is about to radically change. Will your organisation survive these changes?
The introduction of person-centred disability support and individual funding arrangements will require many if not all service providers to alter or adapt their organisation and operating models, and to make pricing decisions in a new choice driven landscape. There are also changes to the governance and reporting requirements. For many organisations, the procedures, processes and pricing will need to be reviewed. There are four key areas where the impact on your organisation could be significant.
CHOICE DRIVEN LANDSCAPE – A NEW BUSINESS MODEL
Block funding arrangements will be phased out. In its place are individual funding arrangements and person-centred support. Each ‘client’ will be supported through the development of an individualised plan. This will allow the type, level and frequency of support to be tailored to the needs of individuals. Clients are likely to be offered a choice of providers – so organisations operating in the sector are facing a new, more competitive landscape. The quality of customer service and the efficiency of the organisation processes will now have a much greater impact on organisation survival.
THE FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS – COMPETITIVE PRICING
The new choice driven landscape will also make it vital for organisations to make pricing decisions that are competitive and financially feasible for the organisation. This will be a particular challenge for many providers in a sector that has not traditionally needed a strong focus on determining and reviewing pricing models in a competitive marketplace. Under-pricing or over-pricing can result in organisation failure, so well-considered pricing decisions are vital.
Workforce planning and development has always been a challenge for the sector however, a renewed strategic focus at a local level will now be needed to attract and retain a skilled team.
NEW GOVERNANCE AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
While the sector may be familiar with reporting requirements, many of these requirements will change or become more complex. To be eligible to provide services under the individualised plans, all providers must apply and register through a new National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) provider portal. The origin of clients and funding will vary – so too will the reporting requirements.
If you operate a organisation in the disability and community sector, don’t underestimate the impact that these changes will bring. Ensure that your business model and pricing structure can sustain your organisation in the new client-centred and competitive environment.
RSM BIRD CAMERON
RSM Bird Cameron can assist in establishing and implementing sound business plans and strategies, and in evaluating and redesigning business processes to facilitate transition to the new NDIS environment.
If you would like further information regarding anything discussed in this article please fill free to contact Tony Grieves, Senior Manager at RSM Bird Cameron on 02 6217 0395 or [email protected]
Many disability and community service organisations will need to review pricing structures and alter their business models to survive in the new landscape created by the NDIS.
With block funding being phased out and a new competitive environment replacing it, if you operate in this sector you may need to:
• Revise business processes & procedures
• Become more efficient to retain profit
• Review and amend your pricing model
• Become more marketing savvy
• Do more to attract and retain employees
• Create new processes for reporting
The changes are quite significant and the time to begin planning is now.
RSM Bird Cameron has significant expertise in assisting organisations in this sector to plan for profit.
Frustrated by lack of flexibility – Charlie’s story
Charlie Whitehead was born with severe laryngeal tracheal and bronchial malaciaa – a rare condition that affects his airways – and was later diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency and Kanner’s autism.
Up until recently, Charlie has needed a constant supply of oxygen and to be fed from a tube. His condition has left him with no immune system and a need for plasma therapy every four weeks.
Ms Whitehead says because of Charlie’s many different conditions, he does not fall neatly into a box for disability care under the current system.
“He’s got so many medical issues. He’s also hypoglycaemic, which means he has to stay on his feed 20 hours out of 24, so he’s got a bag attached to him with a lead,” Ms Whitehead said.
“We were receiving respite care for Charlie, but that stopped when he was diagnosed with autism because we were told he was physically too able for their services”.
A national approach to disability care would improve the quality of care for Charlie and alleviate the need to constantly be asking, ‘are we funded for that?’ Ms Whitehead said.
There are many groups that provide disability services but they are sometimes hard to find, a NDIS would centralise Charlie’s care by making a tailored plan for his disabilities and provide alternatives when needed.
Charlie’s autism means he needs to stay with the same therapist or carer to be able to develop a relationship with them rather than be moved around to different groups.
Funding from an NDIS would allow Charlie’s family to pay the disability group directly for the service of choice rather than the current model of disability groups relying on specific government funds and cutting out patients when they do not fit the group’s funding box.
Under the NDIS people with disability will have more control and flexibility over how their funding is spent and will know how much financial support will be provided not only now but into the future.
Charlie’s family have recently dug into their superannuation savings to fund a hydrotherapy pool for him in the hope that the regular therapy and exercise will strengthen him for future treatments down the road.
The NDIS moves Charlie from a block funding model to a self-directed model, which would mean they could dedicate funding towards the pool which will help Charlie and into the future, when he’s 20 or 50 years old.
With RSM Bird Cameron you really are… Connected for Success.
(02) 6217 0300 | rsmi.com.au