Do you feel like you are spending almost as much on your therapist's travel as on the therapy itself?
This resource sets out just how much a therapist can charge you and tips to reduce travel costs.
Which NDIS capacity building providers can charge travel?
Capacity building services include services like Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Physiology, Psychology and more.
Capacity building providers (mostly allied health professionals) are able to claim for provider travel if there is a 'Y' in the 'Provider Travel' column in the NDIS Support Catalogue for the service line item.
In truth, there is a Y for almost all items!
These NDIS providers can charge you for:
1. Labour Costs (their time)
This is the time they spend:
- travelling to your appointment and
- returning to their usual place of business afterwards if you are their last appointment.
2. Non-Labour Costs
With your agreement (via a service agreement) a therapist may charge you for a portion of their non-labour travel costs.
This may include parking, running costs of the vehicle, tolls etc.
This travel cost could include:
- up to $0.85 a kilometre for a vehicle that is not modified for accessibility; and
- other forms of transport or associated costs up to the full amount, such as road tolls, parking,
- public transport fares.
How much labour travel time can NDIS capacity building providers/therapists claim?
The maximum amount of time therapists can claim is:
- 30 minutes in MMM1-3 areas (most participants fall into this MMM area as it includes major cities, inner regional and some outer regional)
- 60 minutes in MMM4-5 areas (regional and remote areas)
- Travel time is charged at their consulting rate (ouch!).
- This is applicable to both their travel to your appointment and their travel back to their usual place of business if you are their last consult. You could even end up paying both sides!
- Where a therapist is travelling to provide services to more than one participant in a ‘region’ then the provider should apportion that travel time (including the return journey where applicable) between the participants, with the agreement in advance of each participant. Same with non-labour travel costs.
Tips to reduce travel cost
- Check your service agreement for specified labour and non-labour travel costs. Negotiate with your provider to limit these costs. Make sure you don't get a shock when you get the first bill!
- Find another provider. Ask the connections team at MyCareSpace to find you a therapist closer to your location so you are able to get more therapy and spend less on their travel!
- Collaborate with people in your area to share the travel costs of a single therapist.
- Don't be the last consult of the day!