National News

Prices for NDIS services under review

The amounts paid for services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme could go up after an annual pricing review.

The minister responsible for the NDIS, Stuart Robert, announced the 2020-21 review would start on Wednesday.

It will examine existing price limits and related policies, check whether they are still appropriate in the current market, and recommend changes where needed.

Mr Robert detailed the new review at a disability service providers conference in Sydney on Wednesday, telling the audience he had heard their feedback "loud and clear".

"We need your involvement in this review," Mr Robert said.

"This pricing review is part of our commitment to building confidence and certainty for the provider market, as well as ensuring participants are able to access supports that represent value for money."

People with disabilities, their families and carers, providers, peak bodies and community representatives will all be able to give comments to the review.

Service providers in more isolated postcodes may also be able to get more cash to account for the higher cost of delivery, Mr Robert said.

The review will also look into ways of cutting red tape for providers and price limits dependent on the time of day services are provided.

It would also examine how providers could claim money for travelling, cancellations and establishing their services.

Mr Robert said the government would also begin trialling a digital marketplace from next year with more details to be announced before then.

He said this system would allow NDIS users to compare providers, which would improve market transparency and drive greater competition.

Mr Robert repeated his hopes for an ultimately deregulated market.

The NDIS has faced criticism that the prices it pays for services aren't high enough to cover providers' costs in meeting the often-complicated needs of people with disabilities.

A parliamentary inquiry recently heard some service providers are footing the bills for their clients as they wait for the bureaucracy to repay them.

Submissions to the review close on February 3, 2020, with any changes to be announced at least one month before they take effect on July 1, 2020.

© AAP 2019