Generating an NDIS Direct Bulk Payment Request (BPR)

Once the Activity Sign Off is performed, the relevant Client NDIS Support Allocations are available for inclusion in an NDIS Direct Bulk Payment Request (BPR) for claiming. The term 'direct' refers to the fact that the BPR your organisation is generating is for the services you have delivered directly for any NDIS Support Allocations associated with Agency Managed Funding. 

When a BPR is generated, each Allocation has 'No Claim Status'. This is to allow for the Claim Status to be updated, based on the results of the Bulk Payment Request submission to the myplace provider portal. The Claim Status of each Allocation is updated automatically by uploading the Bulk Payment Results File (BPRF) downloaded from the myplace provider portal. 

When the BPRF is uploaded, the status of each claim is updated automatically to reflect which Allocations have been successful (these are displayed as Accepted in SupportAbility), and those that have encountered an error (displayed as Rejected in SupportAbility), along with the reason for this. BPR Rejection Actions are available to manage rejected claims following this by choosing to either  Retry or Cancel these. 

It is important to note that only Accepted Allocations, i.e. successful claims submitted to the myplace provider portal, can be included in a Direct Invoice Batch created from the BPR. This is to ensure accuracy between SupportAbility, the portal and your organisation's finance system. 

However, if your organisation does not wish to take advantage of the new functionality of uploading the BPRF and wishes to continue to include all Allocations in a Direct Invoice Batch regardless of their true Claim Status, then these Allocations can be Accepted manually in order for a Direct Invoice Batch to be available for creation. Please follow the steps outlined in the  Updating the Claim Status Manually article linked below for reference to do so. 

This article provides detailed information relating to the process of generating a Direct NDIS Bulk Payment Request (BPR) specifically.

Audience: Authorised Representatives, Finance Team


Prerequisites 

  • The configuration outlined in the Finance & NDIS | Preparation article must be completed, in order to generate BPRs successfully
  • NDIS Direct Client Funding records must be entered in the Client's Funding tab in order for Client NDIS Support Allocations to be added to the relevant Activities reflecting the Supports delivered
  • Activities must have the Activity Sign Off performed prior to being available to include in a BPR. The Activity Report is designed to assist in locating Activities requiring Sign Off
  • Staff Members require the 'View Financial Information' Staff Account privilege and the 'Edit ALL Clients Records' or 'Team Leader for ALL Services' privileges in order to generate BPRs

Summary

The following list summarises the content within this article. Click on the links below to take you to the relevant sections:


How to generate a BPR

To generate a BPR, navigate to the Finance menu from the SupportAbility Dashboard: 

Select 'Generate Direct BPR':

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Search for Allocations

The first step in the process is to search for the NDIS Support Allocations you would like to include: 

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National or State

When an NDIS Direct Client Funding record is created, the applicable State or Territory the Client's NDIS Plan was issued in must be selected. This defaults to State of the Client's home address and is important to ensure the correct NDIS Prices are used. 

When generating a BPR, your organisation can specify which Supports to include i.e. those associated with NDIS Direct Client Funding records for a specific State or Territory, or, all Supports by selecting 'National': 

This option defaults to the 'Default State' for your organisation as configured in System Preferences. 

N.B. The available options to select from depends on how your organisation's Provider Number has been configured in System Preferences.

In order to select a specific State or 'National', your organisation's Provider Registration Number must be configured in this field. Please see the 'NDIS Provider Registration Number' section of the  Finance & NDIS | Preparation article linked below, for more information. 

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Provider Registration Number

The configured Provider Registration Number for the selected value in the National or State field is displayed for reference: 


Activity Dates

Where relevant, select the Activity Dates that you wish to include, noting that the 'To' Activity Date defaults to the current date and anything beyond this cannot be selected: 

The 'From' Activity Date range is generally left empty to include all available NDIS Support Allocations. 

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Selectable criteria

In addition to the above criteria, the ability to filter the search results to NDIS Support Allocations by specific Clients, Services and/or Sites is also available: 

Each of the search criteria with a drop-down selection option allows you to multi-select:

Alternatively, the options to select from may be narrowed down by selecting the search criteria, then typing in the search term you are looking for e.g 'Jim':

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Search

Once the relevant search criteria have been entered, select 'Search' to continue: 

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Select the Allocations to include

Once 'Search' is selected, the available NDIS Support Allocations are displayed for selection:

The option to 'Create BPR', or 'Start Again' appears at the header of the page. This header remains in place when scrolling up & down the list. Each column is sortable and the results may be filtered to locate the relevant Allocations for selection. 

A link to the Activity, Client record and the associated Client Funding record is available to assist in managing this process. When a Claim Type other than Standard is used, this information is displayed in the Support Item column under the Support Item description: 

If a new search needs to be conducted, select 'Start Again'. If the page is refreshed, a new Search will need to be performed as the search cannot be refreshed in this manner. 

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Sortable columns

Each of the available columns is sortable to assist in locating the relevant Allocations to be included. The default sort order is ascending by Activity Date i.e. oldest first. To sort the list, select the relevant column header: 

The arrows indicate the sort order i.e. up = ascending order and down = descending order: 


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Select/deselect all

To select 'All' select the checkbox in the column header: 

This is also useful to clear any Allocations that may have been selected either manually or by using the filter, by selecting all and then deselecting this to ensure none remain selected. 

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Totals 

Once Allocations are selected, the number selected and their total dollar value tally in the footer of the page:

This footer remains in place (as well as the header) when scrolling up & down the list. 

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Filter Allocations

The ability to filter the search results can be used to locate Allocations by Client, Support Item, Activity etc. as required e.g. by Client Name: 

When a link is selected, the list is filtered by this selection and you will notice text appear in the Filter Allocations bar e.g. ':selected':

The Allocations have been filtered by selecting the link for the total number of selected Allocations i.e. ' 6 selected'.

To clear anything entered or selected in the Filter Allocations bar, select the cross icon: 

This will again display the full list of results. 

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Allocations awaiting Retry

When there are available Allocations to include that are a result of a Retry, an amber notification message appears when any of the available Allocations to include are in a state of 'Retry'. Selecting the 'Allocations' link filters the list to only show Allocations that are available for Retry: 

When an Allocation available for Retry is included in the list, the 'BPR Rejection Reason' is displayed for reference, along with any internal 'Notes' that have been added.

For example, in this case, a Service Booking is required. It is important to ensure that the required action has been taken outside of SupportAbility before including this Allocation in a subsequent BPR to avoid it resulting in an error again.

If we are not ready to include this Allocation yet, it may be omitted by deselection. In the scenario where a large number of Allocations are ready for inclusion, first, select all of the Allocations: 

Then filter the list to locate the Allocation awaiting Retry: 

Once located, deselect these Allocations: 

Noting that only the selected Allocations will be included when you choose to create the BPR:

When ready to Retry the Allocation, this can be selected for inclusion in the BPR also.

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Invalid NDIS Number

When Allocations are associated with a Client who has an invalid NDIS Number, a warning will appear advising of this, explaining that these Allocations cannot be included in the BPR until the Client has a valid NDIS Number configured in their record: 

Each Client must have a valid NDIS Number saved in the Client Details tab of their record. The 'NDIS Number' field is located in the 'Client Details' section of the Client Details tab: 

A 9 digit number is required and it is important to ensure this is saved with no additional characters.  N.B. If this number is being copied from another source and pasted into SupportAbility, please check that no additional characters have been included before this is saved. 

To filter these Allocations to those associated with a Client Funding record with an Invalid NDIS Number, select the 'Show Clients with invalid NDIS Number' link:

Note this has filtered the results to ':invalid'. To clear this, select the cross icon from the Filter Allocations bar: 

The option to proceed in creating the BPR will be available, provided there are Allocations that can be processed, however, Allocations associated with an Invalid NDIS Number will not be included. 

If you wish to resolve the issue first, once a valid NDIS Number has been saved in the relevant Client record/s, you will need to select 'Start Again' and perform a new search for this to be rectified: 

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Allocation maximum

A maximum number of 2000 NDIS Support Allocations are listed in the search results and are available to select for inclusion in each BPR. 

If your Search results generate a number higher than 2000 NDIS Support Allocations, the following message is displayed: 

In a case such as this, an additional BPR would need to be generated to include the remaining 549 Allocations. 

To clarify how the limit was determined, comprehensive business analysis was undertaken during the process of redesigning the BPR workflow to understand how providers are currently generating BPRs in SupportAbility. More than 98% of all BPRs generated contained significantly less than 2000 Payment Request Items i.e. Support Allocations. Therefore, the limit of 2000 NDIS Support Allocations has been applied, to ensure that these new improved controls can be provided whilst ensuring that the solution remains performant. We will, however, be monitoring the size of BPRs that providers generate in relation to this limit.

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Create BPR

Once the relevant Allocations have been selected, select the 'Create BPR' button: 

Once 'Create BPR' is selected, a summary of the number of Support Allocations selected is displayed, as well as the total dollar value this equates to, ready for confirmation: 

Select 'Confirm' to complete this process. 

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BPR could not be created

If whilst you were in the process of generating this BPR, the Activity Sign Off was removed, the FPM in an associated Client Funding record was updated from the NDIA, or these Allocations were included in another BPR, you will be returned to the Search results page and the following error message will appear: 

If you wish to proceed with the remaining selected Allocations, select 'Create BPR', alternatively, you may wish to select 'Start Again' to perform a new search. 

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BPR complete

Once Confirmed, the BPR has been generated and you will be redirected to the 'Edit Direct BPR' page:

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BPR Details

The BPR Details includes: 

  • BPR ID - represents which number BPR this us in order of the number of BPRs your organisation has generated
  • BPR Created - Staff Member name, date and time the BPR was created
  • BPR Last Downloaded - Staff Member name, date and time the BPR was last downloaded from the Actions menu
  • Bulk Payment Results File (BPRF) - a button to Upload the BPRF and once it has been uploaded, the uploaded file is attached here along with details of the Staff Member name, date and time the BPRF was uploaded
  • Invoice Batch - Staff Member name, date and time the Direct Invoice Batch was generated
  • Notes - a free text field to enter any relevant notes associated with the BPR

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Totals 

The Totals section lists the BPR Claimed Total including the number of Allocations and the Total value of these. 

The section below includes a summary of this information by Claim Status and Processing Status. This is updated automatically based on the results of the BPRF once it has been uploaded, or, based on how this has been updated manually. 

Selecting any of the filter icons filters the list of Allocations to those with the related Claim Status or Processing Status only e.g. 'No Claim Status'. This may be cleared by selecting the cross icon in the Filter Allocations search bar: 

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Allocations

Each Allocation included in the BPR is listed in this section: 

The ability to Filter these Allocations is also available here and is useful to locate any Allocations specifically as required. 

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Bulk Actions Menu

A 'Bulk Actions' menu is available to perform any required actions associated with the selected Allocations e.g. to remove them from the BPR if required, or to 'Add Notes' to all selected Allocations: 

Once selected, enter the required information and select 'Add': 

The notes entered have been added to each of the selected Allocations: 

Notes can be removed in bulk also as required, by selecting the required Allocations and navigating to the Bulk Actions menu again and selecting 'Remove Notes': 

Once 'Remove' is selected: 

These will be removed from the selected Allocations: 

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How are Supports with an Hours Unit of Measure included?

Regardless of how the time is entered when allocating Supports in Activities, Support Allocations with UoM = Hours are listed in the in decimal format in the 'Quantity' column of the NDIS Bulk Payment Request file exports. 


How is the Claim Reference formatted?

Each BPR includes a column for the 'Claim Reference'. The Claim Reference is designed to provide each Payment Request Item with a unique identifier. This unique identifier can then be used to cross-reference an individual Payment Request Item across multiple systems. 

The NDIA's guidance regarding entering the Claim Reference in the BPR is as follows: 

Enter your organisation’s invoice or reference number. It must be no more than 50 characters and contain letters, numbers and spaces only. (Provider portal system messages and error codes self-help guide)

It is important to note that the purpose of the Claim Reference is to act as a unique identifier. Whilst the NDIA use an Invoice number in this field as an example, the use of a unique identifier is the only requirement.

Now that BPRs are generated before Direct Invoices, the format of the Claim Reference needed to change as Invoice Number is not known when this is generated. The following format is now used by SupportAbility to generate the Claim Reference: 

D-<BPR ID>-<AllocationID>e.g. D-7-1609, where 'D' stands for Direct, BPR ID represents the 7th BPR your organisation has generated, '1609' is the unique Allocation ID

SupportAbility will use the Claim Reference to match results generated from the Bulk Payment File in phase three of this development project. This will be used to automatically list the Claim Status of each Allocation. The Filter Allocations bar may be used to locate specific Allocations as required:

Please also see the  Reconciling Invoices for the NDIA article linked below for reference regarding more information about the available tools to assist with reconciliation in your organisation's finance system. 

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Download the BPR

The Direct BPR is available to download from the Actions menu in the top right corner of the screen: 

Selecting this will download the BPR file CSV export, formatted to the NDIA's specific requirements:

This should download to your computer's local hard drive, or wherever you have set downloads set to save:

There should be no need to open this CSV as it is ready in the specific format required by the myplace provider portal. If this is opened in a program such as Microsoft Excel, this results in the data being changed inadvertently from the required format upon saving and will cause issues when trying to upload to the portal. 

If it is necessary to open this before uploading it to the portal, we recommend following the instructions to do this safely as outlined in the  How to open CSV files safely in Microsoft Excel article linked below. 

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Submit the BPR

Once downloaded, the BPR is then available to submit to the myplace provider portal manually. 

We recommend using the myplace provider portal step by step guides to assist you with how to submit Bulk Payment Requests. 

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Updating the Claim Status

When a BPR is generated, Allocations initially have 'No Claim Status'. The  Claim Status of these Allocations can be updated either:

  • automatically in bulk, with the click of a button by Uploading the Bulk Payment Results File (BPRF) downloaded from the myplace provider portal to align both systems (highly recommended as this feature has been developed to simplify finance reconciliation),

  • manually by selecting a Manual Claim Status of either Accepted (successful) or Rejected (error), only if required. Please see the Updating the BPR Claim Status Manually article linked at the end of this article for more information regarding this. 

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Generating a Direct Invoice Batch for the NDIA

Once a Direct Bulk Payment Request has been generated and following the Allocation Claim Status being updated,  Accepted Allocations will be included automatically when a Direct Invoice Batch is generated and do not need to be selected beforehand.

The option to generate an Invoice Batch for the included Accepted Allocations is available by selecting 'Generate Direct Invoice Batch' from the Actions menu: 

Noting again that only Accepted Allocations are included and do not be selected beforehand: 

Please review the Generating a Direct Invoice Batch for the NDIA article linked below for reference.  

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View Direct BPRs

Each Direct BPR which has been generated remains available to view in the 'List Direct BPRs' section of the Finance menu:

This lists each Direct BPR, a link to the associated Invoice Batch, the Created Date and Created By, the Claimed value of the BPR Inc. GST, the number of Accepted Allocations and the Accepted value Inc. GST:

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