Merging to survive 2-year NDIS delays
“I advocated for it very strongly but I believe there are lots of people out there who don’t have the necessary advocacy skills who are in a worse position,’’ she said.
Even though new debt is accumulated every week and it is “tempting” to deregister as a NDIS service provider, Ms Bleby says her business offers much-needed services and deregistering is not an option.
One major not-for-profit service provider reports it has $10 million less revenue than two years ago and has been forced to cut back staff.
Novita Children’s Services chief executive officer Greg Ward says it has laid off 60 people in the past six months.
He says while it’s not directly related to NDIA latepayment issues, Novita has had to change its operating structure. “It’s largely in response to the fact that the NDIS has changed, Mr Ward said. “We’ve had to change our operating models – so we have to change our overhead costs and that’s largely what’s driven that restructuring.
“The other driver is as the costs of trying to transact with the NDIS go up, we have to try to make other savings elsewhere, so it has a diverse effect of increasing some of our employment costs to deal with administrative bids. We have to try to reduce our costs elsewhere. CORA Barclay Centre has experienced NDIS payment delays of up to two years – at a cost of $1.6 million – forcing the centre to look for other ways to survive, its general manager Amanda Haskard says.
One of South Australia’s oldest service providers for children who are deaf or hearing-impaired, it is now in the process of merging with a national children’s charity Can:Do 4Kids.
The Cora Barclay Centre board made the move almost a year ago, citing late payment by the National Disability Insurance Agency for services provided, especially for early intervention services for children.
Ms Haskard says that in 2017 the board calculated the centre would likely run out of money by October 2019 if a sustainable plan was not developed. It began talks with like-minded partners before agreeing to work with Can:Do 4Kids.
“We refused to drop services to children because we
“Our revenue has been reduced. We are getting $10 million less than we were two years ago.’’
Anglicare SA’s head of disability and mental health services Kate Rush, says the notfor-profit group says delayed NDIS payments and plan renewals are affecting only about 10 of their 400 clients at any given time.
An NDIA spokesperson says the majority of accurate and complete payment claims weren’t getting the funding required through NDIS,’’ Ms Haskard said.
“We’ve suffered and children who have hearing losses suffered from poor funding arrangements and some poor referral arrangement services and it has significantly impacted our sector.’’
Ms Haskard says delays in NDIA payments have affected a generation of children with hearing loss.
“It’s been five years we had to wear this,” she said.
She says NDIA has recently fixed problems with its payment system but it had come too late for the Cora Barclay Centre.
The proposed merger, expected by the end of the year, will still provide the community a breadth of choice of services, Ms Haskard says.
Naomi Jenkins, mum to Mackenzie, 1, and Indianna, 3, brings her children to Cora Barclay Centre once a week and welcomes the merger: She said: “I’m happy with it as it is clear that the Cora Barclay Centre will continue to do what is in the best interest of children and their families.’’ made through the portal are “successfully processed within five working days’’.
“NDIA has also established a dedicated National Provider Payment Team (NPPT) as a single point of contact for providers, to analyse and remediate payment issues,’’ the spokesperson said.
IMPACT: Naomi Jenkins with her daughters Indianna and Mackenzie and Cora Barclay Centre boss Amanda Haskard.