NDIS debate a hot topic of talks

 

I recently had the honour of attending TRANSFORM 2019 as the invited speaker for the disability clinical stream. This was the first time disability has been represented with its own clinical stream, and it was fitting that the focus of the content was on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and its integration with clinical practice.

‘We need to understand that, like all things, there are the challenges and threats that lie in an evolving scheme that is yet to fully stabilise.’

Many a robust discussion on the how and why to maintain, renew or commence the process of being a NDIS-registered provider was had during my four days at conference and its many social events. The decision to be a registered provider or not is dependent on many variables, which are individual to each practitioner and their business circumstances. The gradual transition of Australian states into the National Quality and Safeguards Commission has put a timeline on this decision-making for many of us.

As business owners we have the ultimate responsibility to our clients and clinicians across our practice, and it is paramount to have processes and procedures in place to promote clinical skill and business service development. For our practice, Rehab Health and Fitness Australia, continuing down the path of reregistration is one way we ensure we have these systems in place.

There is no doubting the significant opportunities for practices to provide services in this space. There are markets identified where there is a large gap between the needs of participants and services available. This can occur in a particular location and/or for certain cohorts of participants, and is driven by the difficulties servicing a client’s need or their location. Factors including governance, cost and market instability are affecting this.

These voids need to be filled. And we need to understand that, like all things, there are the challenges and threats that lie in an evolving scheme that is yet to fully stabilise. This may prove particularly volatile for the poorly informed, so it is vital that you weigh up these and how they impact a business. It is essential to qualify and quantify the ramifications of the decisions made for your business. This will determine whether your choices should be sustained, develop or evolve. The result may be that you change your course.

As a non-registered provider, you can still offer supports and services to self-managed and plan-managed participants, and there are subsets of clinical populations choosing this funding stream. There are, however, participants and their nominees for whom self-management does not work, and there are many providers who work with participants in these circumstances. This is where we need a robust workforce which can provide services within the NDIS framework.

Your clients need to remain at the centre of your services. It is essential for your practice and the physiotherapy profession that we do not lose this patient-centric vision.

 

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