Updated: 6 days ago
Through telehealth services, NDIS participants can receive support and services from the comfort of their own homes, eliminating the need for travel or face-to-face appointments. However, some participants may not have access to the appropriate technology needed to for telehealth services. Does this mean participants can claim smart devices for telehealth supports?
Before jumping into claiming smart devices, it’s important to understand what telehealth is and how it can help.
In the post-pandemic setting, online appointments have remained as a convenient and effective option for delivering capacity building therapy.
Telehealth can be used to deliver direct supports to participants. Although, it’s important to note that there are conditions that need to be met for providers to claim for telehealth services. As stated in the Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits 2023-24, these conditions include:
The delivery of the support by telehealth is appropriate
The proposed charges for the activities comply with the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits and with the Service Agreement with the participant
The activities are part of delivering a specific disability support item to that participant (rather than a general activity such as enrolment, administration, or staff rostering)
The provider explains the activities to the participant, including why they represent the best use of the participant’s funds (that is, the provider explains the value of these activities to the participant)
The provider has the agreement of the participant in advance (that is, the service agreement between the participant and provider specifies that Telehealth services can be claimed)
Providers have a duty of care to their participants to ensure they are providing the same standard of care through video technology as they would in a clinical setting.
What are the reasons the NDIS would say no to smart devices?
It’s also important to note that the NDIA typically don’t cover the cost of:
• Replacements for loss or damage outside of the existing NDIS AT replacement policy
• Internet connection and data costs
• Applications or software, unless specified and approved in the plan
• Additional accessories like screen protectors, back up chargers, and selfie sticks
Claiming smart devices for telehealth
During the global pandemic, the NDIA created a support item for Low-Cost AT to support Capacity Building due to the increase in need for online appointments (i.e., web telehealth or application-based approaches). Although supports and services have returned to normal for most people since the pandemic, the support item has remained in the latest Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits 2023-24 and it can be used to purchase low-cost smart devices.
Now, before going out and buying a smart device it’s vital to ensure that you meet the NDIS regulations regarding claiming smart devices under this support.
Want to make sure a smart device is right for you? This check list can help.
Is the device required to maintain NDIS funded supports?
Do you have written evidence from your provider for the supports?
Is it value for money?
Do you have the device (or something similar) already?
Has the device been funded by another service system (such as education)?
The Pricing Arrangements also states that participants should not spend more than $750 on electronic devices needed to maintain existing services as advice from AT specialists is that most NDIS participants will not need more than a standard tablet, which typically costs no more than $600.
If you meet the claiming rules, and the device is reasonable and necessary then you may be able to claim a smart device. It is still important to discuss this with your therapist to determine that telehealth is a suitable option for you.
Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.