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Are Your Providers Competitive?

There has recently been a lot of discussion in the media and within the NDIA about how to reduce expenses across the sector. One way that this can be done is looking at how competitive the prices and rates are that providers charge for their services. 


There has been some misconception amongst some providers that the prices listed in the NDIA’s Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits (Pricing arrangements | NDIS) document are set and fixed by the NDIA. This is not the case, these prices are maximum limits that cannot be exceeded. There is nothing that indicates a provider can’t charge beneath this rate. 


In fact, it is usually more appropriate to charge beneath this capped limit, as these maximums are set to be mindful of the more intensive needs and requirements of certain participants. 



What Can I Do About This? 

It is the expectation of the NDIA that all charges and costs are negotiated and arranged between the provider and participant (or their representative). This is typically represented in a service agreement signed by both parties. 

We recommend discussing with potential providers what the expected rates should be. If the provider proposes only the maximum limit, then it is reasonable for you to ask them why their rate is all that is suitable.

 

What Benefit Does a Lower Rate Have for a Provider? 

A provider won’t want to intentionally lower their rates, will they? What benefit will it have to them to charge less per hour? 


By charging a lower rate than their competitors, they can actually attract more potential clients who see the opportunity to save money on their plan. So long as they can demonstrate the quality of their work is equal to or greater than their competitors, they can often see an upsurge in interested clients.

 

Why Is This Important for Me? 

If you are able to negotiate fairer, more appropriate prices for your supports, then you will be spending less. This will result in being able to engage with more supports as required and reduce the risk of overspending and exhausting your funding early. 


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