Therapy Assistants: New price guide, new rules

With the release of the new NDIS Price Guide on July 1, 2019 (which also happens to be the first Price Guide with national pricing to come into effect), we’re taking a moment to revisit a support area that’s had a lot of people talking recently – Therapy Assistants.

Having previously published an article on Therapy Assistants, which you can read here, we’re reviewing the latest changes that came into effect with the newest NDIS Price Guide 2019-2020. As outlined in the therapy review announcements, there are two significant changes in how Therapy Assistants will now operate, so let’s break it down. 

  • All Therapy Assistants (TA) are required to be covered by the professional indemnity insurance of the supervising therapist (or the therapist’s employing provider)
  • Therapy Assistants are now divided into 2 support levels, with the difference being supervision.
    • Level 1 – TA under direct supervision at all times by the therapist.
    • Level 2 – TA under the supervision of a therapist, where the therapist is satisfied that the allied health assistant is able to work independently without direct supervision at all times.

You can read the update on the NDIS website here: https://www.ndis.gov.au/providers/price-guides-and-information/pricing-review-therapy-services

Hold off on hitting that Panic button!

If your current therapy assistant doesn’t fit these new criteria, you don’t need to panic just yet. Here’s a few options we suggest exploring:

  • Reach out to your therapist to find out their plans. 
    • Do they employ TAs and can they get you connected with one?  
    • Are they planning on employing TAs soon & can you jump on the waitlist now?
  • Find out the plans of your current TA.  
    • Are they open to being directly employed by your therapist / or the clinic?  (Give them a little nudge in that direct perhaps, keep it friendly, of course)
  • Remember this CB Budget lists other support items, not only therapy assistants.  
    • For example – Individual Skill Development and Training [Including Public Transport Training] – “Individual training provided in the home for general life skills to increase independence.” 
      This example would come under the line item 15_037_0117_1_3 in the new Price Guide, which is $46.31/hr for all states and a bit higher for remote and very remote areas.

Whilst this is a big change for many participants and families, it’s not all doom and gloom. There may be no change to how your supports are placed, but if there is, take some time to review your individual circumstances. The one thing that never hurts is having a conversation, so don’t be shy to bring this up with your therapy provider and work together to figure out your next steps.

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