Enhancements to Direct Bulk Payment Requests (BPRs)

The major focus of SupportAbility's development roadmap for 2020 is developing enhancements to Bulk Payment Requests (BPRs) for Direct Services. 

Our conversations with providers over the last twelve months have highlighted the difficulties being experienced when claims are rejected by the portal. The first major project to assist in this area was the introduction of a new 'Plan Review' feature in SupportAbility v6.11 (October 2019). 

Our goal over the next six months is to deliver the ability for providers to:

  • automatically identify the claim status i.e. accepted or rejected by providing the facility to import the results file provided by the myplace provider portal following submission of a Bulk Payment Request (BPR)
  • choose a course of action for any rejected claim items e.g. retry, amend, or cancel
  • only include successfully claimed Supports in Invoice Batches to ensure that accounts receivable aligns perfectly with the expected payment amount 

These changes are being made to improve the quality & accuracy of the data included in and produced by SupportAbility. This project will ensure that Client Funding Statements & Utilisation data for Agency Managed Supports reflect the correct amounts. 

Audience: Authorised Representatives, Executive Management and Finance Team 

Release plan to date

Due to the extent of this development project, a phased approach is being taken in order to reduce the impact on providers and to assist with change management. 

The upgrade to SupportAbility v6.14 (January 28th, 2020), saw the release of the first phase of this development project, whereby the workflow for generating NDIS BPRs was separated for Direct and Plan Management Services. 

The recent upgrade to SupportAbility v6.16 (March 19th, 2020), saw the release of the second phase of this development project and involved several key changes including: 

  • A new Finance menu is available from the Dashboard for Staff with the required privileges including all finance-related functions i.e. Bulk Payment Requests, Invoice Batches and Time Sheet Batches
  • The workflow for generating NDIS Direct Bulk Payment Requests (BPRs) was changed as a first step towards the ability to identify and process rejected claims:
    • Direct BPRs are now generated prior to Invoice Batches (for the NDIA)
    • Direct BPRs now include NDIS Support Allocations from Signed Off Activities, rather than NDIA Invoices
    • Invoice Batches for the NDIA can then be generated following the creation of a BPR from the ‘View Direct BPR’ page (as required).

N.B. The process for generating Invoice Batches for Self Managed and Plan Managed Clients remains the same. 

SupportAbility version 7 

Further BPR enhancements are being released in the upgrade to SupportAbility version 7, expected on Thursday evening the 8th of October, 2020

This upgrade introduces the ability to import the Bulk Payment Results File (BPRF) from the portal, manage Rejected claims in SupportAbility and only include Accepted Allocations in Direct Invoice Batches for NDIA Invoices aiming to simplify finance reconciliation. 

The following video has been created to help providers prepare and plan for these upcoming changes:

You may also locate this video in the 'Finance' tab of the Learning Centre under the 'NDIS Direct Client Funding' section. 

To summarise the information outlined in this video, the next phase of this development project is expected in the upgrade to SupportAbility v7 (expected release, early October 2020): 

SupportAbility’s first import feature has been developed in order to align the status of each Allocation included in the BPR with the results available for download from the myplace provider portal.

By uploading this Bulk Payment Results File, otherwise known as the BPRF, into SupportAbility the Claim Status of each Allocation will be updated automatically and represented visually, based on this information:

  • Successful claims will be updated to Accepted, along with the exact claim value being paid
  • Any claims that have resulted in an error will appear as Rejected, along with the reason for this, and
  • Any differences between what was submitted in the BPR and what is included in the BPRF will be highlighted for reference. 

Two options will be available to manage any Rejected Allocations: ‘Retry’ and ‘Cancel’. Depending on how you wish to handle each Rejected Allocation will determine which action is best suited.

  1. Retry
    If the Rejection occurred due to an issue with a Service Booking having not yet been established, for example, using the ‘Retry’ action may be best suited. This Allocation would be marked for Retry and following the Service Booking being created in the portal this Retry Action can then be processed when ready. Processing this Retry Action will make the Allocation available for inclusion in the next BPR.
  2. Cancel
    When all options for claiming have been exhausted for a Rejected Allocation, the Cancel action may be utilised to cancel out this Support altogether. Cancelled Supports no longer appear as available for inclusion in a BPR and will not be included in Funding Utilisation information or Client Funding statements.

From the upgrade to version 7, only Accepted Allocations are included in the NDIA Invoices generated in a Direct Invoice Batch from the BPR. This means that Invoices for successful claims at the correct value are generated.

In addition, providers will have the ability to configure the preferred invoice format for NDIA Invoices. By default, the invoice format will be ‘Separated’ per Client, or Client Funding record, as is the current functionality. 

However, a new option will be available to use a ‘Combined’ invoice format. Choosing this option will create a single NDIA Invoice to mimic the RCTI created by the Agency. It is important to note that this option will only be suitable for finance systems with the capacity to utilise this.

Regardless of the chosen Invoice Format, the fact that only Accepted Allocations are included in these Invoices ensures accuracy between SupportAbility, the myplace provider portal and your organisation’s finance system. Aiming to greatly simplify the reconciliation process for Agency Managed Supports. 

What's next?

Soon after the version 7.0 release, we will be providing the ability to make Amendments for Rejected Allocations. 

The Amend action essentially cancels the original Allocation and allows you to reallocate one or more replacement Supports to correct this within the confines of the Client’s NDIS Direct Funding record, and when ready, process this action which will make the amended Allocation available for inclusion in the next BPR. What this will not allow you to do is change the Client Funding Source or any other element of the Activity. More information regarding the details of this will be provided closer to this time.

For more information regarding this, please review the SupportAbility Roadmap article linked below. 

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