In this week’s blog post, we want to shed some light on a topic that is red hot in the news ahead of this week’s national cabinet meeting: NDIS provider registration.
As more and more stories come out about NDIS providers delivering poor quality services and charging participants through the nose, disability advocates say they have had enough of providers taking advantage of those with a disability.
Tougher regulations are to be at the centre of a government plan to crack down on providers doing the wrong thing. This week, National Cabinet is meeting to discuss changes to the scheme, with NDIS Minister Bill Shorten claiming that participants are at risk of being harmed by ‘dodgy’ NDIS providers if the states block the proposed reforms.
From a recent article by the Daily Telegraph, ClubMates has dug up some striking statistics:
- Out of the 100,000 plus NDIS providers nationwide, only 16,000 are registered. This implies that a significant number—approximately 85,000 service providers—are operating without any form of monitoring.
- In the fourth quarter of 2022-23, plan managers disbursed $2 billion in payments to unregistered providers.
- Data from plan management reveals payments were extended to 154,409 unregistered providers, indicating a growing trend of their involvement in delivering higher-risk supports like personal care at home, therapy, and support coordination for participants.
With only a small minority of service providers actually registered with the NDIS, participants are faced with the tough decision between reliability, and breadth of choice.
To be registered with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, service providers must undertake rigorous compliance and auditing processes. It can be time-consuming and expensive, which results in many providers opting to stay unregistered.
This insightful article by The Conversation sheds light on these dynamics, citing that choice, flexibility, cost savings and perceived trustworthiness as some of the reasons why participants choose to go with unregistered providers.
However, the shortage of providers, extended waiting lists, or a scarcity of necessary expertise frequently left interviewees with no alternative but to resort to unregistered providers.
As we consider the importance of participants to exercise choice and control, it’s worth noting the role that registered providers play in offering a structured, quality-assured approach.
Registered providers commit to compliance and auditing processes, providing a level of consistency and reliability in service delivery.
Ultimately, as an NDIS participant, the choice of registered vs. Unregistered is 100% up to you, but we advise you to just be smart when navigating unregistered providers. Make you and the provider both understand your options, legal rights and obligations.
Make sure you know what to expect in terms of good and safe services and speak up if something doesn’t seem right. This goes for all providers, even the registered ones, even us. Having this knowledge and helping your chosen service providers and their workers learn more about their jobs will make everyone more aware of what they should do and how to provide good services, preventing any chance of you being taken advantage of.
As a registered NDIS provider, ClubMates ensures we stay abreast of all auditory and compliance requirements, so you can be assured that you are receiving high quality, safe, flexible service for a reasonable and transparent cost.