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. Once generated, the option to generate a Direct Invoice Batch for the included NDIS Support Items is available from the view BPR page. 

This article provides detailed information relating to the process of generating a Direct NDIS Bulk Payment Request (BPR) and a Direct Invoice Batch for the NDIA. The term 'direct' refers to the fact that the BPR your organisation is generating is for the services you have delivered directly for any NDIA-managed Client Funding Support Allocations. 

Audience: Authorised Representatives, Finance Team


Prerequisites 

  • Finance & NDIS | Preparation must be completed, in order to generate BPRs and export NDIA Invoices to your finance system where required.
  • 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 require the 'View Financial Information' Staff Account privilege and 'Edit ALL Clients Records' or 'Team Leader for ALL Services' privileges in order to generate BPRs and Invoice Batches. 


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. 

This also means that 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 will default to the 'Default State' for your organisation as configured in System Preferences. 

N.B. The available options to select from here depend 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 here: 


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:

A link to the Activity, Client record and the associated Client Funding record is available to assist in managing this process. 

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. 

Whilst you may choose to use the 'Filter Allocations' bar to locate specific Allocations, this is essentially filtering the results generated from the previous step and filters the Allocations instantaneously. 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. 

When a Claim Type other than Standard is used, this information is displayed in the Support Item column under the Support Item description: 

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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: 


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. 


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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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 Administration 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 following the upgrade to v6.16.

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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 where a summary of this is displayed:


BPR Details

The BPR Details displayed include: 

  • BPR ID - represents which number BPR this us in order of the number of BPRs your organisation has generated
  • Created - Staff Member name, date and time the BPR was created
  • Last Downloaded - Staff Member name, date and time the BPR was last downloaded from the Actions menu
  • 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

Totals 

At present, this section only displays the BPR Total Value Inc GST, however, in future phases of this project i.e. importing the Bulk Payment File (phase 3) and making adjustments where necessary (phase 4), more information will be displayed here. 


Allocations

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

A 'Bulk Actions' menu is available to perform any required actions associated with the selected Allocations e.g. remove them from the BPR if required. This menu option will include more options in future phases of this project:

The ability to Filter these Allocations is also available here and is useful to locate any Allocations by Invoice Number or Claim Reference. An Invoice Link column is also available which includes a link to the Invoice preview and associated Invoice Batch created for the BPR. More information regarding this including examples is outlined further below. 

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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, it may result in the data being changed inadvertently from the required format upon saving.  

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. 


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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Generating a Direct Invoice Batch for the NDIA

Once a Direct Bulk Payment Request has been generated, the option to generate an Invoice Batch for the included NDIS Support Allocations is available by selecting 'Generate Direct Invoice Batch' from the Actions menu. 

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 BPR information is useful for reconciling against the remittance advice received from the NDIA. 

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