All the Healthcare the NDIS Will Now Fund From Today

As of today, the National Disability Insurance Scheme will now fund healthcare services and supports where they are related to a person’s disability. The conflict between State and Federal governments over the grey areas between healthcare and disability support services has been an enduring battle. While the States and Canberra quarrelled over who would pay for what, it was people with disability and their communities that were left caught in the middle.

In signs of progress, October 1st marks a major concession from the Federal side, with the National Disability Insurance Agency now funding what it calls ‘Disability-related health supports’. If you are wondering which of your health supports the NDIA deems ‘Disability-related’ here is their non-exhaustive list:

Examples of Disability-related Health Supports

Continence supports 

  • An NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker to undertake insertion, removal or change of indwelling urethral catheter, suprapubic catheter and/or clean intermittent catheter. 
  • Training of an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker to provide catheter maintenance and care. 
  •  Provision of daily catheter maintenance and care by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker. 
  • All continence consumables (for example catheter, bags, pads, bottles, straps).

Diabetic management supports

  • Development and periodic review of a diabetic management plan by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent clinician.
  • Implementation of a diabetic management plan and daily maintenance and care by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker.
  • Training of an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker to implement a diabetic management plan.

Dysphagia supports

  • Development and periodic review of a meal time management plan by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent clinician.
  • Implementation of a meal time management plan by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker.
  • Development and periodic review of an oral eating and drinking care plan (OEDCP) by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent clinician.
  • Implementation of an oral eating and drinking care plan (OEDCP) by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker.
  • Training of an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker to implement the meal time management plan and OEDCP.
  • Swallowing therapy associated with dysphagia provided by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker.
  • Consumables such as thickeners to enable a participant to swallow more easily and reduce their risk of aspiration/choking.

Epilepsy supports

  • Training of an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker to implement the participant’s Epilepsy Management Plan (EMP) and/or Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP).  
  • Epilepsy seizure monitoring by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker including the application of assistive technology. 

Nutrition supports 

  •  Dietetic consultations and the development and periodic review of a nutritional meal plan by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent clinician.
  • Implementation of a nutritional meal plan by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker.
  • Training of an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker to implement the nutritional meal plan.
  • Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) Stoma Changes (to assist feeding).
  • Provision of PEG maintenance and care by a suitably qualified and competent worker.
  • Training of an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker to provide PEG maintenance and care.
  • Home Enteral Nutrition (HEN) and (PEG) and equipment and consumables excluding food.  
  • HEN formula/nutritional supplements (to meet participant’s nutritional needs).

Podiatry supports

  • Assessment, development and periodic review of a podiatry care plan by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent clinician.
  • Implementation of a podiatry care plan by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker.
  • Training of an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker to implement the podiatry care plan and perform any required daily maintenance and care related to the plan.

Respiratory supports

  • Development and periodic review of clinical care and daily maintenance of tracheostomy (insertion, removal and change) by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent clinician
  • Implementation of daily maintenance of tracheostomy (insertion, removal and change) by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker
  • Training of an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker to provide tracheostomy maintenance and care.
  • Provision of tracheostomy equipment and consumables.
  • Provision of a Constant Positive Airway Pressure machine (CPAP) machine and consumables. 
  • Provision of a Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BIPAP) machine and consumables.
  • Provision of a ventilator, air humidifier, portable suction machine and/or cough assist machine and consumables.
  • Assistance with the use of all respiratory medical equipment as well as the training of a suitably qualified and competent worker to use the equipment.

Wound and pressure care supports

  • Wound care and pressure care (including pressure injury management) by an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker.
  • Wound care and pressure care consumables (e.g. dressings, gauze, bandages, tape, lymphedema garments and pressure wraps). 
  • Lymphoedema machines as well as assistance with the use of the equipment and the training of an NDIS-funded suitably qualified and competent worker to use the machine.

What do disability-related health supports mean if I already have an NDIS plan?

If you are applying to the NDIS for the first time, you can now seek health supports like these for inclusion in your NDIS package. If you already have an existing NDIS package, you are able to use any of your unspent core funding flexibly to purchase such health supports.

The major exception that the NDIA highlights is that you cannot use the funds to purchase Assistive Technology valued at over $1500. The NDIA also notes that if you are currently receiving health supports from your State or Territoty Health services, you can talk to them about being an NDIS participant and those services can help escalate your needs with the NDIA.

While this won’t solve all the problems faced by NDIS participants in navigating health and disability supports, it is at least a step in the right direction. It is nice to see that on occasion government’s can put aside their differences and focus on the outcomes for the people they collectively serve.

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