NDIS Price Guide Updates - 2020/21

When a Price Guide is released, there are many changes that go along with it. Updates to the Price Guide outside of July 1 are also increasing. This article is used to communicate any and all changes in relation to the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide to SupportAbility subscribers.

For more information about how NDIS Price Guide updates are managed in SupportAbility, please review the following article: 

Audience: Authorised Representatives, Finance Team, Operations Management


Summary

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


19th of November, 2020

v7.2 expected release date 30th of November

The '2020/21 - December 1st’ NDIS Price Guide is being added to SupportAbility in the upgrade to v7.2 expected on the evening of Monday 30th of November, 2020 and will be in use in Activities & External Invoices for Services delivered on or after December 1st, 2020, that have not yet had the Sign Off completed.

Following this upgrade, providers can utilise the Price Guide Transition settings for NDIS Direct Client Funding records in scenarios where you do  not wish to transition to the using the updated pricing from the 1st of December, 2020. Please see the Price Guide Transition article linked below for more information regarding this feature. 

The 'Irregular SIL Supports' Claim Type is also being added to SupportAbility in the upgrade to v7.2.  

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17th of November, 2020

'Irregular SIL Supports' Claim Type

The  Completing the Bulk Upload File Template section of the 'Bulk Payment Request Step by Step Guide' (page 8-12, Claim Type specifically outlined on p11, available from the myplace provider portal and resources section of the NDIS website) has been updated to include the new 'Irregular SIL Supports' and 'Telehealth' Claim Types, therefore, the 'Irregular SIL Supports' Claim Type will be added to SupportAbility as soon as possible. We will keep this article updated when the version of SupportAbility that this new Claim Type will be included in. 

NDIS Price Guide 2020/21 - December 1st Update & updated NDIS Support Catalogue

Version 2 of the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide was published today on the NDIS website, effective December 1st, 2020. 

We are in the process of reviewing this updated Price Guide, however, the main changes as stated on the NDIS website include: 

  • The '...price limits of 369 support items will increase due to the final ERO adjustment', 
  • Clarifying claiming for telehealth (see below)
  • 'Providers of capacity building ECI supports can enter into an agreement with a participant for programs of support. Programs of support for ECI can include group and one-to-one supports for participants'.

This updated Price Guide will be introduced as a new '2020/21 - December 1st Update' Price Guide in SupportAbility to allow providers to utilise the Price Guide Transition settings for NDIS Direct Client Funding records in the case where you do not wish to transition to the updated pricing on the 1st of December, 2020. Please see the Price Guide Transition article linked below for more information regarding this feature. 

We will keep this article updated regarding when to expect the '2020/21 - December 1st Update' Price Guide. 

'Telehealth' Claim Type

Whilst the  Completing the Bulk Upload File Template section of the 'Bulk Payment Request Step by Step Guide' has been updated to include this new, and a new section 'Claiming for Telehealth Services' has been added to the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide (v2, effective December 1st, 2020), it is not clear exactly which Supports the 'Telehealth' Claim Type can be used for and this hasn't been added to the Support Catalogue. 

Clarification of this is required in the Support Catalogue by the NDIA. If your organisation has any additional information regarding this and when it can be used, please have your organisations Authorised Representatives contact us via support. Many thanks in advance. 

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11th of November, 2020

'Irregular SIL Supports' and 'Telehealth' Claim Types

Whilst the latest NDIS Price Guide states that as well as direct service provision, the SIL Supports can be used to claim for 'Irregular SIL Supports' (p47, the latest Price Guide can be downloaded via this section of the NDIS website) and the NDIA has updated Part 4 'Administering your services' of the provider step-by-step guide which includes instructions about using this new Claim Type for individual Payment Requests. 

However, the NDIA is yet to update the Claim Types included in the  Completing the Bulk Upload File Template section of the 'Bulk Payment Request Step by Step Guide' (page 8-12, Claim Type specifically outlined on p11) available from the myplace provider portal and resources section of the NDIS website.

SupportAbility requires these specifications before the new Claim Types of 'Irregular Supports' and 'Telehealth' can be added so we may first understand the exact data that is required & when and how this should be formatted i.e. the Claim Type code required in the BPR export. Without this, it is not certain this functionality is available for BPRs and we would simply be guessing the rules & validations of this new field which may result in validation or formatting errors upon uploading the BPR to the portal.

We recommend providers needing to claim for Irregular SIL Supports and Telehealth contact the NDIA to petition for this to be added to the Bulk Payment Request Step by Step Guide ASAP given the administrative burden being caused due to this delay. We are monitoring this closely also and will update this article as soon as any additional changes are known.

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27th of October, 2020

NDIA Requested Reports Claim Type available from v7.1 for Psychosocial Recovery Coaching Supports

The Claim Type of 'NDIA Requested Reports' will be available for all Psychosocial Recovery Coaching Support Items from the upgrade to SupportAbility v7.1 on Thursday evening the 29th of October, 2020. 

Inclusion of ABN for Plan Managers

The  specifications in the 'Bulk Payment Request self-help guide' (also published on the NDIS website) have been updated to include the new 'ABN of Support Provider' column. The BPR produced from SupportAbility will be updated to include this new column in SupportAbility v7.2 (expected mid-late November) and populated with the ABN as entered in Service Provider Contact records for providers of Plan Management Services when a Plan Managed BPR is generated and left empty for providers of Direct Services when a Direct BPR is generated. 

Irregular SIL Supports Claim Type

Whilst we have received screenshots from providers that the Claim Type of 'Irregular SIL Supports' can now be selected when submitting an individual payment request, the above specifications are yet to be updated with this new Claim Type. It has been advised that Part 4 of the provider step-by-step guide will be updated next week to include instructions about using this new claim field. We will be monitoring this and provide more information regarding this once more is known. 

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22nd of October, 2020

Price Guide Update - 25th of October, 2020

A new Price Guide has been published on the NDIS website today, effective from the 25th of October, 2020. 

The team at SupportAbility are currently in the process of reviewing this information internally and will provide more information shortly. 

Inclusion of ABN for Plan Managers

A recent Provider Newsletter announced that 'From Sunday 25 October 2020, plan managers are expected to include the provider’s Australian Business Number (ABN) when submitting a payment claim'.

A new ABN field was included in all Contact records with the release of SupportAbility v7 on the 8th of October, 2020. This is designed for providers who deliver Plan Management Services to begin to record this information for NDIS Service Providers as required: 

SupportAbility verifies that the first two digits of the ABN are valid based on the 11 digit ABN being structured as a 9 digit identifier with two leading check digits, as per the Australian Business Register guidance outlined here.

The tooltip above mentions that it will be included in the Plan Managed BPR exports when a valid ABN is entered this functionality has not been developed yet. 

Whilst a template has been provided on the NDIS website, in order for us to amend the Plan Managed BPR export to include ABN, we require the Agency to update the Bulk Payment Request specification on their website, which they have advised will be updated 'soon' in a provider newsletter issued today. 

This is necessary as the template only tells us the name and position of the column, but not the rules of this i.e. when it should be populated and how it should be formatted. Without this, we would simply be guessing the rules & validations of this new field and may encounter validation or formatting errors on BPR uploads for Direct as well as Plan Managed.

The good news is that last Friday afternoon the 16th of October, 2020, Disability Intermediaries Australia announced that they had received confirmation from the NDIA that: 'The current/old bulk upload template (CSV) will still be accepted for a period of time to allow for RPMPs to transition to the new CSV file.'

With this in mind, we have delayed the inclusion of the ABN in the Plan Managed BPR export until at least SupportAbility v7.2 (expected in mid-November) to allow for the NDIA to update the full specifications in the 'Bulk Payment Request self-help guide' (also published on the NDIS website) and to give us time to respond accordingly.

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2nd of October, 2020

v7.1 expected release date

The next development items in response to the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide are expected in the upgrade to SupportAbility v7.1, including a solution to assist providers apportioning the price of the relevant Group Supports and enhancements for Participant Transport and Provider Travel Supports. 

More on what to expect regarding this can be found in the following articles for reference: 

The expected release date for SupportAbility v7.1 is Thursday evening the 29th of October, 2020

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7th of September, 2020

2020/21 Price Guide features applicable by NDIS Support Category

A new article has been created to assist providers to navigate the new Price Guide requirements by Support Purpose/Category. A table has been included linking to the related functionality that is now available, or is in the process of being made available, in SupportAbility to assist providers managing these requirements, considering some of these changes are effective immediately i.e. from the 1st of July, 2020, and others are subject to a transition period:

v7.1 development items

The next development items in response to the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide to be expected after the upgrade to SupportAbility v7, including a solution to assist providers apportioning the price of the relevant Group Supports and enhancements for Participant Transport and Provider Travel Supports. These updates are expected in the upgrade to SupportAbility v7.1, expected release date to be confirmed at this stage. More on what to expect regarding this can be found in the following articles for reference: 

This article will be updated when an expected release date for v7.1 is known. 

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17th of August, 2020

v6.21 tomorrow night introduces 'Programs of Support' and 'Supports from a previous Price Guide' features

In the upgrade to SupportAbility v6.21 going out tomorrow night on Tuesday the 18th of August, a new feature is being introduced to assist providers managing Programs of Support

In addition to this, another new feature has been developed to give providers the ability to allow Support Items from the previous Price Guide (that have since been removed) to be added to the Funding record.

More regarding this can be found in an addition to the  Price Guide Transition article. This has been updated to include a section outlining the new 'Supports from previous Price Guide setting' that will be available to address this following the upgrade to SupportAbility v6.21:


6th of August, 2020

v6.20.3 released including v1.0.6 NDIS Price Guide Updates

v6.20.3 was released last night and includes the updates required as a result of v1.0.6 of the NDIS Price Guide being published, including seven new Support Items and two removed Supports.

Where one of the new COVID-related Supports is added an information message will be displayed in both the NDIS Direct Client Funding record regarding its validity e.g. 'Valid from July 29, 2020. Only valid VIC': 

As well as in the NDIS Support Allocations window: 

As mentioned recently, in addition to the above, the COVID related Support 01_796_0115_1_1 will be made customisable in the NDIS Support Allocation window of Activities given that only the apportioned price for this Support must be charged

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4th of August, 2020

v1.0.6 of the NDIS Price Guide released  - effective 29th of July 2020
On Friday the 31st of July, 2020 the NDIA published v1.0.6 of the 2020-21 NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue effective 29th July, 2020. Our audit of the new Support Catalogue has revealed that the update includes seven new Support Items and removes two supports.
In addition to the above, COVID related Support 01_796_0115_1_1 will be made customisable in the NDIS Support Allocation window of Activities given that only the apportioned price for this Support must be charged. 
We also understand that the updated Price Guide includes Programs of Support being available to utilise for Supported Independent Living (SIL) and this will be factored into the work being completed regarding this new feature. Please review the SupportAbility Roadmap article for more information regarding this. 

How will SupportAbility implement these changes?

These changes will be implemented as an update to the existing 2020/21 - July 1st Price Guide. 

An informational message will be included to advise which COVID-related Supports are for VIC & NSW only, as well as any changes to when new or removed Supports can be used e.g. valid from July 29th, 2020.  

When will this update be available?

We are working on introducing the new Price Guide into SupportAbility as soon as possible and we expect this will be available in an upgrade on Wednesday evening the 5th of August, 2020. 

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3rd of August, 2020

v1.0.6 of the NDIS Price Guide released
Our Engineering team are currently auditing the changes included in v1.0.6 of the NDIS Price Guide released Friday night with priority.  

We will keep this article updated regarding when to expect these changes to be available in SupportAbility as soon as possible.

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28th of July, 2020

Thank you to all those who responded to the recent SupportAbility Roadmap 'Have Your Say' development prioritisation poll. We are in the midst of collating the results of this and will publish the results of this in the SupportAbility Roadmap article by Friday the 7th of August, 2020. 

Programs of Support

We are currently working on a solution to assist providers to deliver & manage 'Programs of Support'. This feature will be configurable by Service with the following options available: 

  • On by default
  • Off by default
  • Never

With 'Never' being the default, given Programs of Support are only applicable for specific Services i.e. '...group-based supports in the  Assistance with Social, Economic and Community Participation Support Category, including Supports in Employment, or any of the Capacity Building Support Categories.' (p 23 of the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide).

When this has been configured to 'On by default' or 'Off by default' for the relevant Services in System Preferences, a new setting will become available for each Client row in the Activities for this Service, allowing Staff with the privileges required to manage Activities to indicate if the Client's participation is related to a 'Program of Support'.

When indicated as such, this will ensure that the Cancellation Reason and Claim Type is not triggered for the Support Items applicable for the Client. A new handshake icon will appear in various places to indicate the Client's participation is related to a Program of Support, as well as new Search Criterion to select from various searches and reports e.g. in the Client's Activities tab and the Activity Client Report. 

Given the NDIA has advised that Programs of Support can '...only be offered if the duration of the program is no longer than 12 weeks...' (p23), providers may wish to create separate sets of Activities for these Programs for a period of 12 weeks in order to track and manage this effectively. If additional Program of Support Activity sets are required following this, the Replicate Activity feature can be utilised to achieve this. 

Further details will be included in a dedicated Knowledge Base article for this new functionality in due course.

This new feature is expected within the next couple of weeks and we will update this article with the expected release date as soon as possible.

Price Guide Transition switch allowing Support Items from the old Price Guide to be utilised in new Funding records

A setting in the Price Guide Transition tab of the NDIS Direct Client Funding record is being developed for all Funding records that commence on or after the 1st of July, 2020, to allow providers to specify that Support Items from the previous Price Guide period are required to be added to the Funding record. 

This is important for providers that have active Service Bookings that commence on or after the 1st of July, 2020, including Support Items that no longer exist in the new Price Guide e.g. SIL. 

Activating this setting will make available any Support Items from the previous 2019/20 Price Guide (and subsequent Price Guide Updates) that have not been included in the new Price Guide to be added to the Client Funding record.  

However, this solution is not as easy as it sounds to develop and complete thorough test analysis for and require a significant amount of engineering resources to deliver.  As a result, this feature will take between 4 - 8 weeks to develop and release.

Please review the following article for more information outlining the current issues faced when Supports required to be claimed/Invoiced have not been included in the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide, the solution being developed in order to address this, as well as a suggested workaround to continue to utilise these Supports in the interim: How can Support Items missing from a new Price Guide be added to Client Funding records?

We will update this article and the SupportAbility Roadmap article regarding when to expect this feature to be available in SupportAbility as soon as possible.

Managing Fractions of Price for Group Supports

The new article: Managing Fractions of Price for Group Supports, has been created to: 

  • Outline the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide requirements for dividing the price of a Support by the number of participants in a group
  • Explain the interim solution available for providers to ensure the apportioned Price for the relevant Group Supports is utilised
  • Discuss the solution being developed in order to better assist providers in managing this 
  • Include a complete list of the Support Items that can have the Price customised whilst this solution is being developed has also been included

If this is relevant for your organisation, we recommend the relevant Staff review this for more information regarding these changes. 

We will update this article and the  SupportAbility Roadmap article regarding when to expect this feature to be available in SupportAbility as soon as possible.

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15th of July, 2020

SupportAbility Roadmap - Prioritisation Poll

Over the last several months, our team has been focussed on the upgrade to SupportAbility v7 which includes further Improvements for Agency Managed Supports. This project was nearing completion when the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide was introduced. 

Whilst the new Price Catalogue has been included in SupportAbility, the new Price Guide includes a number of major changes that require an Engineering response in order for providers to implement some of these new requirements. 

In recent conversations, providers have expressed their wish to have more input into the prioritisation of the SupportAbility Development Roadmap. To facilitate this process, a poll has been created and is being emailed to the primary Authorised Representative tomorrow for each of subscribing provider seeking input on the priority of the development items in our short-term roadmap. 
Responses will be accepted up until the close of business, Friday the 24th of July, 2020. From here, the submissions will be analysed and the results published in the SupportAbility Roadmap article by Friday the 7th of August, 2020. 

v6.20.1 expected tonight - includes updates from Price Guide v1.0.4 and v1.0.5

We have a release going out tonight to include the updates required as a result of v1.0.4 and v1.0.5 of the NDIS Price Guide being published, as outlined below (13th of July and 10th of July). 

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13th of July, 2020

v1.0.5 of the NDIS Price Guide released today

v1.0.5 of the NDIS Price Guide was released today and includes a new Support Item 04_210_0125_6_1.

This will be added to the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide in SupportAbility as soon as possible, as well as the changes introduced in v1.0.4. These changes are expected in an upgrade on Wednesday evening the 15th of July, 2020. 

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10th of July, 2020

v1.0.4 NDIS Price Guide Updates

Changes included in v1.0.4 of the NDIS Price Guide released yesterday include changes to the price limit for Group Activities in a Centre – 1:5 - Standard and the correction of a typo for a specific Support, 07_799_0106_8_3 to 07_799_0106_6_3, according to the version control section of the PDF. 

However, the update to version 1.0.4 of the 2020/21 Price Guide includes a few other changes in addition to those the NDIA included in the version control section of the PDF. Our Engineering team has been comparing this version to the previous version to ensure that any and all changes are identified.

We are working on applying these updates to the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide in SupportAbility as soon as possible, and at this stage are expecting these changes to be available in an upgrade on Tuesday evening the 14th of July, 2020. 

Two Support items have been added and one has been removed: 

Given that 09_799_0117_8_3 is being replaced by 09_799_0117_6_3, any Allocations of this Support will be maintained with the reference number updated to align with these changes. 

The name of two new Supports have been updated: 

Updates to the price limit for Group Activities in a Centre – 1:5 - Standard Supports has resulted in 10 Support Items having updated prices: 

As mentioned yesterday, if your organisation is using the Group Activities in a Centre – 1:5 – Standard Supports in Activities, we recommend that providers do not perform the Activity Sign Off for these Activities delivered since the 9th of July, 2020, until this has been updated to ensure your organisation is charging the correct price. 

N.B. If the Activity Sign Off has been performed for Activities delivered since July 1, that include these Supports, the 'old' price (as outlined in the table above) will be in use. However, given this error was caused by incorrect prices being published in the Price Guide, providers may not need to correct this for services delivered between July 1st - July 9th (when v1.0.4 of the Price Guide was released). However, to clarify this, we recommend that your organisation consults the NDIA regarding this. 

We will keep this article updated regarding any changes to the expected release date of these updates, as well as to confirm when this has been released. 

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9th of July, 2020

v6.20 expected tonight - important updates for providers of Plan Management Services

We have a release going out tonight to ensure that all of the Supports included in the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide are available for selection in the External Invoice Items added to the relevant Client's FPM tab, applicable to providers of Plan Management Services. 

This upgrade includes an additional update to the validations applied when External Invoice Items are Allocated so that any Support Items removed from the latest Price Guide are available for Allocation for Services delivered on or after July 1st, provided they are valid as per the Funding Period of the Client's Plan Managed Funding record. 

v1.0.4 of the NDIS Price Guide released today

Our Engineering team are looking into the changes included in v1.0.4 of the NDIS Price Guide released today with priority i.e. the changes to the price limit for Group Activities in a Centre – 1:5 – Standard and the correction of a typo for a specific Support 07_799_0106_8_3 to 07_799_0106_6_3.

For the interim, if your organisation is using the Group Activities in a Centre – 1:5 – Standard Support in Activities today (and beyond this date), we recommend that you hold off on performing the Activity Sign Off for these Activities until we have had the opportunity to update this in SupportAbility to ensure your organisation is charging the correct price.

We will keep this article updated regarding when to expect these changes to be available in SupportAbility as soon as possible.

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2nd of July, 2020

Resolution regarding issue identified yesterday - v6.19.1

Good news! We have an upgrade going out tonight that will reintroduce the following mistakenly omitted Supports back into the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide in SupportAbility:

  • 04_103_0125_6_1 - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Weekday Afternoon
  • 04_103_0125_6_1_T - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Weekday Afternoon - TTP
  • 04_104_0125_6_1 - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Weekday Daytime
  • 04_104_0125_6_1_T - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Weekday Daytime - TTP
  • 04_105_0125_6_1 - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Saturday
  • 04_105_0125_6_1_T - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Saturday - TTP
  • 04_106_0125_6_1 - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Sunday
  • 04_106_0125_6_1_T - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Sunday - TTP

Once this upgrade has been released, any of these Supports Allocated in Activities on or after July 1st will no longer appear as associated with the '2019/20 April 30th Update Price Guide' incorrectly and the Price will be accurate as per the 2020/21 Price Guide.

We are expecting this upgrade to go out at approximately 8 pm. If your organisation needs to review this tonight, please check the version number in the top left-hand corner, when it reads v6.19.1 this will indicate the update has been released. From here, the Activity Sign Off can be performed as the correct Price will be in use so these Supports may be claimed and/or Invoiced accurately.

We thank you for your patience whilst we worked to resolve this issue.

Availability of all Support Items for providers of Plan Management Services

We are anticipating an additional upgrade to be released next week which will ensure the Supports temporarily omitted by design, (listed in the Temporarily omitted Support Items specific to the 'new' approach for Community and Centre Based Group Services - July 2020 article) are available to Allocate in External Invoices for Services delivered on or after July 1st, 2020. 

We will continue to keep this article updated regarding the progress of this also.  

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1st of July, 2020

Afternoon Update

Issue identified

When the Supports associated with the 'new' approach to Group Services were temporarily omitted from the new Price Guide in SupportAbility (as listed in this article: Temporarily omitted Support Items specific to the 'new' approach for Community and Centre Based Group Services - July 2020), regrettably there were some additional Supports that were also omitted incorrectly.

A list of Supports that have been mistakenly omitted (in addition to those omitted by design, as outlined in the linked article) has been listed below for reference. Our Engineering team are working on adding these Supports back in with priority, however, until this fix is released, we recommend providers  do not perform the Activity Sign Off yet if any of these Supports are in use, due to this issue, as the wrong price is currently in use incorrectly i.e. the April 30th Update (which included the COVID loading). Once this has been fixed, the Activity Sign Off may be performed as the correct version of the Support will be in use and thus the correct price.

  • 04_103_0125_6_1 - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Weekday Afternoon
  • 04_103_0125_6_1_T - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Weekday Afternoon - TTP
  • 04_104_0125_6_1 - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Weekday Daytime
  • 04_104_0125_6_1_T - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Weekday Daytime - TTP
  • 04_105_0125_6_1 - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Saturday
  • 04_105_0125_6_1_T - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Saturday - TTP
  • 04_106_0125_6_1 - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Sunday
  • 04_106_0125_6_1_T - Access Community, Social And Rec Activities - Standard - Sunday - TTP

Our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this may cause and please be assured, we're working on this with the utmost priority. We will provide an update regarding the progress of this as soon as possible.

We are working on a solution for Plan Managers in parallel, to ensure that in addition to the above Supports being reinstated, the temporarily omitted Supports removed by design will be available to utilise in External Invoices. We will be keeping this article updated regarding the progress of this also.  

Morning Update 

New '2020/21 - July 1st’ NDIS Price Guide available

The '2020/21 - July 1st’ NDIS Price Guide has been added to SupportAbility in the upgrade to v6.19 last night on the 30th of June, 2020 and is now in use in Activities & External Invoices for Services delivered on or after July 1st, 2020, that have not yet had the Sign Off completed. This upgrade also included:

  • Changes to the way that NDIS Direct Client Funding Price Guide Transitions validate Support Allocations to ensure Supports from previous Price Guides relative to the Funding Period can be utilised after July 1st.
  • Support Items specific to the 'new' approach for Community and Centre Based Group Services have been temporarily omitted and will not be available in Activities or External Invoices in this release. This is to ensure that providers do not 'opt-in' to this new service delivery model by unintentionally Allocating and claiming for these new Supports. We are currently working on a solution that will allow providers to choose when to move to this new approach.
  • Supports that require the Price to be divided by the number of participants will be introduced with the ability to Customise the Price of this Support in the NDIS Support Allocation window of Activities. This will ensure the applicable reduced Price can be charged whilst we work on a more comprehensive 'Fractions of Price' solution.
  • Registration Group information is now displayed for additional Supports.

We will be keeping this article updated with more information about the additional solutions being designed and developed to assist in meeting the new requirements of this Price Guide in due course. 

Supported Employment

Our discussions with providers in this space regarding the changes to Supported Employment have highlighted a significant lack of guidance regarding the new Supports available in the 2020/21 Price Guide and how providers should utilise these. 

This is an issue that the National Disability Service (NDS) is aware of and currently campaigning on behalf of providers with the NDIA. Based on the limited information available our current understanding is that: 

  • Providers can continue to claim using the previous DMI Level Supports until such time as the participant's plan is reviewed and their Funding for Supported Employment is moved into Category 4 - Assistance with Social, Economic and Community Participation. These Supports will continue to be available in the NDIS Support Allocations window for Activities delivered on or after the 1st of July, 2020 and will include information regarding which Price Guide they belong to for reference i.e. 2019/20
  • When the new plan is established, and the participant's Funding for Supported Employment is available using Category 4 - Assistance with Social, Economic and Community Participation, providers can choose to either: 
    • use the transitional funding arrangement Support Item i.e. 04_891_0133_5_1 Support Item which will ' ...allow providers to continue to claim under the pre-1 July 2020 ADE pricing arrangements for a period of up to 18 months, as agreed under the pricing transition arrangements. This support item is not subject to a price limit. However, ADE providers that choose to use pre-1 July 2020 pricing arrangements during the transition period can only claim this item at the current Disability Maintenance Instrument (DMI) or Average Outlet Price (AOP) they currently have in place for each current or new supported employee'. (p 61 and 87), OR
    • use the new hourly Supports and divide the Price by the number of participants. We will be providing further functionality to allow providers to manage these 'Fractions of Price' calculations in future releases as outlined previously. 
  • Programs of Support are applicable to Supported Employment regardless of the way in which Supports are utilised. In addition to the above, we will also be providing further functionality to assist providers in managing these new requirements. More information regarding this will be announced here in due course. 

    Return to Summary

29th of June, 2020

The updated 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide was released on Friday evening the 26th of June, 2020. The version control section of this document advises that this is the 'First Operative Edition' and as such, is comprised of a series of updates. Many of these updates significantly change the way that Supports are delivered and claimed/Invoiced i.e. Group Services, Supported Employment and SIL; as well as changes to the Engineering solutions that will be required in SupportAbility. These changes have been outlined below, as well as what to expect on July 1st, 2020, in order to assist providers immediately. 

IMPORTANT
Given the fact that the Price Guide was only released on Friday night, we have the entire SupportAbility team working as hard as we can to release these changes tomorrow night.  However, we also need to conduct proper testing analysis to ensure a quality outcome for our subscribers. In the unlikely scenario that we are unable to release the Price Guide upgrade tomorrow night, we will provide additional email correspondence and guidance. 

What are the key changes to expect with the upgrade to SupportAbility v6.19 on Tuesday evening the 30th of June, 2020?

  • The introduction of the new 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide 
    • The new Price Guide will be in use in the NDIS Allocations window of Activities (based on the Client's Price Guide Transition setting being set to 'As Soon As Available' and provided a Client Support Log has not yet been completed) & External Invoices, for Services delivered on or after July 1st, 2020 that have not yet had the Activity Sign Off complete
    • The updated Price Guide includes transitional Support Items for Community and Centre Based Group Services i.e. group price ratios. The prices for these Supports have been positively indexed, however, may be lower as a result of the temporary COVID loading having been removed 
  • Changes to the way that NDIS Direct Client Funding Price Guide Transitions validate Support Allocations
    • These changes allow providers to utilise the relevant Supports based on the Initial Price Guide in use in the Client's NDIS Direct Funding record, as well as any new Supports from the 2020/21 Price Guide for Activities that fall on or after the 1st of July, 2020, provided their NDIS Direct Funding record allows for this i.e. a Flexible Budget for the parent Support Category is available, or the new Support Item/s have been added with a Budget (even if this is $0)
      • For example, if a Support Item is removed from the new Price Guide, but was relevant at the time the Client's Funding was entered e.g. 01_035_0115_1_1
        Supported Independent Living - For 3 - Standard, then this will continue to be available in the NDIS Support Allocations window for Activities delivered on or after the 1st of July, 2020 and will include information regarding which Price Guide it belongs to for reference i.e. 2019/20
    • In situations where a Support Item is in use (i.e. where the Price Guide Transition has been configured to 'Never' or after a specific date), which had the temporary COVID loading included, SupportAbility will utilise the price from the ‘2019/20 - March 1st Update’ NDIS Price Guide for the relevant Supports in Activities delivered on or after July 1st, 2020, to ensure that providers are not claiming the COVID loading incorrectly
  • Support Items specific to the 'new' approach for Community and Centre Based Group Services have been temporarily omitted and will not be available in Activities or External Invoices in this release (please see below for more information)
    • This is to ensure that providers do not opt in to this new service delivery model by unintentionally Allocating and claiming for these new Supports. We are currently designing a solution that will allow providers to choose when to move to this new approach
    • N.B. These Supports will also not be available to Allocate in External Invoices for providers of Plan Management Services yet either. We will provide further updates regarding when to expect these Supports to be available  
  • Supports that require the Price to be divided by the number of participants will be introduced with the ability to Customise the Price of this Support in the NDIS Support Allocation window of Activities to ensure the applicable reduced-Price is charged, whilst we work on a more comprehensive 'Fractions of Price' solution (please see below for more information)
  • Registration Group information is now displayed for additional Supports (please see below for more information)

Community and Centre Based Group Services - 'transitional' and 'new' approaches

Providers now have the option of delaying the implementation of the 'new' approach for Group Services and may continue to use a 'transitional' approach i.e. group ratio Supports, which are included in the new Price Guide at an indexed rate. Providers can choose when to move to the new approach for Group Services over the next year. The new approach includes: 

  • Charging the relevant Fraction of the Price for the Services received e.g. 3 hrs x $19.19 ($57.56 / 3)
  • Individually charging for Non-Face-To-Face Support Provision
  • Charging a separate Centre Capital Cost (where relevant)
  • The option to utilise 'Programs of Support'

On page 62, the NDIA has stated that ' A provider must use the same approach (transitional or new) for all the group and centre based supports that they deliver. Once a provider commences to use the new pricing arrangements they may no longer use the transitional pricing arrangements'. Similar to TTP, it appears that when these new Supports are used, this would indicate that the provider is moving to solely deliver Services under this new approach. 

We are in the process of designing a setting in System Preferences (similar to TTP), where providers can specify to move to this new approach when ready. This will subsequently make these new Supports available and will no longer allow the transitional ratio Supports to be utilised. However, this will not be available from July 1st, 2020. 

Given providers will need time to consider, plan and manage such an implementation, to avoid the risk of these new Group Supports being Allocated and claimed incorrectly and thus binding an organisation to use this new approach, the Supports associated with this  will not be available to add to the NDIS Direct Client Funding record or use in Activities delivered on or after July 1st, 2020 as yet, until the new setting outlined above is available. 

Fractions of Price model

Throughout the operative 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide it is stipulated that ' If a support item is delivered to a group of participants then the price limit for each participant is the price limit set out in the table below divided by the number of participants in the group. Providers should make a claim for each participant using the relevant support item. Each claim should be for the total time of the support but is subject to the lower price limit as set out above' (p58 for reference). 

Supports that use this new Fractions of Price model are:
  • Group and Centre Based Activities (Standard & High Intensity) p58 
    • N.B. This is only applicable when the 'new' Group Services approach is in use
  • Supported Employment (with the exception of the 04_891_0133_5_1_D transitional Support Item) p60/1 and p86
  • Development of Daily Living and Life Skills (09_009_0117_6_3) p81
  • Workplace assistance (10_016_0102_5_3) p84
  • Physical Wellbeing Activities (12_027_0126_3_3, 12_027_0128_3_3, 12_029_0126_3_3) p90 
  • Dietetics (12_025_0128_3_3) p91 
  • Transition through school and to further education (13_030_0102_4_3) p92 
  • Early Childhood Intervention Supports (under 7 years) p94 
  • Therapy Supports (over 7 years) p95 

Given that providers need a way to be able to charge for a fraction of the price of these Supports, following the upgrade to v6.19, providers will temporarily be allowed to Customise the Price of these Supports in the NDIS Support Allocation window to ensure the applicable fraction of the price is charged. 

We are working on a more comprehensive solution to the 'Fractions of Price' model, introduced in the updated NDIS Price Guide and will provide further details soon.

Registration Group information displayed for additional Supports

Registration Group information will be displayed in the additional places for the following Supports with the intro of the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide:

  • Activity Based Transport
  • Provider Travel - Non-Labour Costs
  • Centre Capital Cost
  • Establishment Fee for Personal Care/Participation

Given that the name & description for each of these Supports are identical and that some Categories contain multiple versions of these Supports, the only way to differentiate these is by Registration Group.

Whilst Registration Group information is already displayed in the Client Funding record, to assist providers in selecting and identifying the correct version of these Supports, the Registration Group information pertaining to these Supports will be displayed in the NDIS Support Allocations window in Activities, as well as in the Bulk Payment Request (BPR).

Are there any further updates expected after this?

Yes. Further to our previous update on the 24th of June, 2020, this has been revised slightly. In addition to the above, we are in the process of conducting comprehensive business analysis in order to design solutions to assist providers in meeting the new requirements, in the next phases of development required in response to the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide. These include (in no particular order):

  • Provider Travel - Non-Labour Costs
  • 'New' Group Services approach
  • Programs of Support
  • Fractions of Price Management

We will be keeping this article updated with more information in due course regarding the progress of the solutions to be expected in order to meet these new requirements.

Supported Employment

Further to our previous update regarding Supported Employment on the 24th of June, 2020, the NDIA has stated that the new  04_891_0133_5_1_D Support Item will ' ...allow providers to continue to claim under the pre-1 July 2020 ADE pricing arrangements for a period of up to 18 months, as agreed under the pricing transition arrangements. This support item is not subject to a price limit. However, ADE providers that choose to use pre-1 July 2020 pricing arrangements during the transition period can only claim this item at the current Disability Maintenance Instrument (DMI) or Average Outlet Price (AOP) they currently have in place for each current or new supported employee'. (p 61 and 87).

Given providers of Supported Employment have a period of up to 18 months to transition to this new approach, we would expect that the transitional 04_891_0133_5_1_D Support Item will be used in lieu of the existing DMI codes specific to the 2019/20 Price Guide. This will need to be added to the Client's Funding record in order for this to be available in the NDIS Support Allocation window of the Activities they participate in. 

Supported Independent Living (SIL)

The new SIL provider pack has not yet been published, however, the NDIA have released information on their website regarding the changes to Supported Independent Living. It is stated that 'Existing plans containing agreed quotes will continue until the end of their 12 month term, at which point the new SIL price limits will apply', and in addition 'The NDIA is conducting a review of SIL price controls and new SIL-specific price limits will be included in an updated Price Guide released later in 2020. Until this review is complete the price limits for Assistance with Daily Living will apply to SIL supports'. 

The update to the way that Price Guide transitions work, as outlined above, will mean that providers will continue to be able to utilise and claim/Invoice for the 2019/20 Supported Independent Living (SIL) Supports that have been included in the Client's Funding record until the end of this period. 

However, at the end of the Client's existing plan with an agreed SIL quote, the way that Supports are Allocated for this Service will change significantly given this was previously charged as a single combined Weekly Unit of Measure Support. From this point forward, the Client's Supports will need to be separated out into a number of Support Allocations for each Client for the week. From the conversations we've had with providers in this space so far, they have advised that they intend to determine a 'pattern of Support' referred to as the Roster of Care on a weekly basis and replicate this out for the required period. 

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26th of June, 2020

The NDIA has issued a news update today regarding the decision to give providers the option to 'use either the new streamlined pricing arrangements for group-based supports or continue to use the 2019‒20 arrangements for up to a further 12 months'. 

It has been advised that the revised Price Guide is to be expected today, and we are awaiting its release in order to best understand any additional requirements needed.

We will provide an additional update regarding what to expect from here on Monday once more about these new changes is known. 

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24th of June, 2020

We are in the process of finalising the first phase of development required in response to the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide updates necessary in SupportAbility. This will introduce the new 2020/21 Price Guide itself as well as an update to the way Price Guide Transitions validate Support Allocations.   

Changes to the way Price Guide Transitions validate Support Allocations

The 2020/21 Price Guide introduces significant changes to Group Services with the fact that separate ratio, community based and centre based Support Items have now been condensed into primary 'Group or Centre Based' Support Items, and fractions of time are expected to be applied manually based on the relevant portion of the service delivery applicable to each participant.

With this in mind, changes to the way that Price Guide Transitions validate Support Allocations will be implemented in this first phase of development. To date, provided the Price Guide Transition for the Client was set to As Soon As Available, SupportAbility would not allow providers to continue to utilise Supports from the previous Price Guide when a new Price Guide came into effect, in Activities delivered on or after the 1st of July.

However, provided the existing Service Agreement and Service Bookings providers have in place with their Clients remain valid, the facility to continue to claim and/or Invoice for Supports in the 2019/20 Price Guide for Activities that fall on or after the 1st of July, 2020 is required. Therefore, this update will allow providers to utilise the relevant Supports based on the Initial Price Guide in use in the Client's NDIS Direct Funding record, as well as any new Supports from the 2020/21 Price Guide for Activities that fall on or after the 1st of July, 2020 provided their NDIS Direct Funding record allows for this i.e. a Flexible Budget for the parent Support Category is available, or the new Support Item/s have been added with a Budget (even if this is $0).

For example, if we had an agreement to deliver 1:3 ratio centre based Group Supports for a specific Client for their plan period of the 1st of January 2020 - 31st of December 2020, and the Service Booking remains valid allowing us to claim for this Support, SupportAbility will continue to allow this 1:3 ratio Support to be utilised in Activities up until the end of the Client's Funding Period (whereas this would not have been possible previously). 

If we also needed to claim for the new Provider Travel Non-Labour Costs Support Item, provided this Item has either been added to the Client's NDIS Direct Funding record following the introduction of the new Price Guide with a Budget (even if this is $0) or, the Client has a Flexible Budget for the parent Support Category this Item belongs to, this will also be available to Allocate in Activities that fall on or after the 1st of July, 2020 the Client participates in as required.

Updates to these validations will give providers more flexibility to assist with continuity of service delivery and when necessary, i.e. when the participant is due to transition to a new NDIS Plan or has a Plan Review; negotiate new or updated Service Agreements and Allocate these new Supports at this time, rather than these 'old' Supports essentially becoming invalid for Activities delivered on or after the 1st of July, 2020.

We will be adding information regarding which Price Guide the Support Item belongs to in the NDIS Support Allocation window for reference and the ratio badges will be a good way to identify if these Supports are in use for Activities delivered on or after the 1st of July, 2020 before the Activity Sign Off is performed, as fractions of time management will not need to be applied to these Supports. 

Will the COVID loading be removed when the new Price Guide is released?

Whilst the indexed pricing has not been made available yet for each Support Item in the Support Catalogue, now that guidance has been provided that the COVID loading will no longer be applicable, it is expected that this will include a reduction to the rates of the applicable Supports to remove this temporary loading. 

However, given that we are changing the way that Price Guide Transitions validate Support Allocations as outlined above, where a Support Item is in use from the previous Price Guide that included the COVID loading, SupportAbility will utilise the price from the '2019/20 - March 1st Update' NDIS Price Guide for these Supports in Activities delivered on or after July 1st, 2020, to ensure that providers are not claiming the COVID loading incorrectly. 

When will these updates be released?

We are working on introducing the new '2020/21 - July 1st' NDIS Price Guide into SupportAbility, as well as the changes outlined above as soon as possible and expect this will be available in an upgrade on Tuesday evening the 30th of June, 2020. 

Working on these solutions is our number one priority at present and we will keep providers updated regarding the progress of this in this article from here. 

Are there any further updates expected after this?

Yes! In addition to this, we are in the process of conducting comprehensive business analysis in order to design solutions to assist providers in meeting the new requirements, in the next phases of development required in response to the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide. These include:

  • Programs of Support
  • Provider Travel - Non-Labour Costs, and potentially
  • Fractions of Time Management.

We will be keeping this article updated with more information in due course regarding the progress of the solutions to be expected in order to meet these new requirements.

How can Non-Face-To-Face Support Provision be managed in SupportAbility?

When Claim Types were introduced, the facility for providers to add the same Support Item more than once was introduced, provided it has a different Claim Type. Given 'Non-Face-To-Face' is a separate Claim Type, this can be added to the same Activity, or a separate Activity, as required for the relevant Support Item:

With the release of the 2020/21 NDIS Price Guide, whilst there is no mention of the term 'Claim Type', we will continue to allow providers to use the relevant Support Items to claim for additions to direct service provision in a similar manner to the above where the Price Guide stipulates this can be used for specific Supports e.g: 'As well as direct service provision, these support items can be used to claim for:

  • Non-Face-to-Face Support Provision
  • Provider Travel
  • Short Notice Cancellations'

It will be up to each provider to decide how this will best be managed for your organisation, and the most cost-effective way to do so, given this will require a significant amount of additional administration. Unfortunately, there is not a great deal of guidance regarding what is expected here and it is going to be up to each provider as to how they choose to track Non-Face-To-Face Support Provision. Disability Services Consulting (DSC) has published an interesting article ' NDIA Gaslighting Group Providers' recently, which includes reference to this in relation to the reductions in revenue for Group Services: 'To make up the gap, providers need to track and claim every minute they spend providing non face-to-face support (after they’ve negotiated with all participants to claim it)'.

Providers have the ability to Allocate and claim for Non-Face-To-Face Support Provision in separate Activities. Given the NDIA has advised that Non-Face-to-Face Support Provision can only be claimed if this is worked out separately for each participant specifically, creating separate Client-only Activities for this purpose (for example) would allow you to specify how this is specific to the Client in relation to their Support needs.

SupportAbility provides a number of ways that this could be managed. To provide a few suggestions, depending on the level of detail required, the Activity Description appears on the Client Funding Statement which many providers choose to print monthly for each Client. Therefore, if each instance of Non-Face-To-Face Support Provision was captured as a separate Activity, this would itemise everything specifically for the individual. A huge amount of administration would be required to manage this though, and we consistently receive feedback that participants do not want this level of detail in Invoices/Client Funding Statements, therefore, this may not be the ideal solution. 

However, if it was negotiated that 1 hour of Non-Face-To-Face Support Provision for the relevant Support is to be charged for each day the Client attends, and they attend 5 days per week, for example, week-long Activities could be created for the participant:

Individual Client Journals could be added to reflect the break down of each instance of Non-Face-To-Face Support Provision:

Alternatively, if a set number of hours has been negotiated for Non-Face-to-Face Support Provision for the duration of a Program of Support, then the Non-Face-To-Face Support Allocations could potentially be added into the same Activity as the Program of Support, using Client Journals to document the Non-Face-to-Face Support Provision component.

How can the transition for Supported Employment be managed?

Given that Supported Employment has now been moved to Category 4 and the new 2020/21 Price Guide stipulates that Programs of Support are applicable to utilise for these Supports, the feedback we've received so far with providers delivering this Service indicates that this is the direction they'll be heading in as it seems like the only feasible option and that they will continue to create week-long Activities to manage this using a similar method to the above suggestions using Client Journals to record all details of service delivery, even though the Unit of Measure for these Supports has changed.

In order to utilise these new Supports, the participant will need to have these added to their NDIS Direct Client Funding record once the new Price Guide is available, and/or have a Flexible Budget for Category 4 available so these new Supports may be selected in the Allocations window for Activities delivered on the 1st of July, 2020 onwards.

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12th of June, 2020

The 2020/2021 NDIS Price Guide is unlike any other Price Guide released over the past 7 years since the NDIS trials commenced.  Whilst it is certainly a welcome change to have this Price Guide released so early, unfortunately, it is important to point out that this appears to be missing key information. As is so often the case, this Price Guide also lacks the clarity and guidance required for providers to implement the changes it contains. We are aware of another update to the Price Guide coming into effect today with the release of v2.

From SupportAbility’s standpoint, the major elements in this Price Guide that may require an Engineering response:

  •  the transition from using ratios to ‘fractions of time’ for Group Supports
  •  the introduction Programs of Support

  • Fractions of Time

    This is not the first time that the NDIA has tried to introduce the concept of ‘Fractions of Time’ or similar pricing methods that ignore the complexities of Services.  Disability Consulting Services recently wrote an article entitled Group Supports and the new Price Guide – a massive oversight or a serious threat? that outlines some of the major issues with this proposed approach.

    The ‘Fractions of Time’ pricing method implies that delivering a 1:1 Service in the community is just as complex as delivering that Service in a 1:5 ratio, and therefore should be remunerated equally. 

    On the three previous occasions when the Agency has attempted to introduce similar pricing changes for Group-based Services, providers communicated to the NDIA that they would not be able to continue delivering Group Services under such an arrangement.  The Agency has always responded to these concerns by reversing their policy, to avoid the risk of market failure for Group Services.  Given that we have seen this 3 time before, and given the Agency has reversed its decision each time, we are hopeful that providers will again voice their concerns to create the same outcome.  

    SupportAbility in its current form does allow providers to use the Fractions of Support method when allocating Supports, albeit in a manual fashion.   We will be engaging with various providers to better understand what tools they would need to implement the Fractions of Support model in their daily operations.  However, it this point in time, we are waiting to see the NDIA reverse their decision before we commence any Engineering work in this space.

    Programs of Support

    The concept of Programs of Support is a welcome addition to stabilise the cashflow and Service predictability for providers whilst reducing the administration overheads of dealing with short term Cancellations and other billing complexities.  We will be engaging with various providers to better understand which tools they would need to implement the Programs of Support model in their daily operations.

    We will continue to provide updates on this page as we learn more from our discussions with providers and also as the Agency release more details on the new Price Guide and how providers should implement these changes.

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    3rd of June, 2020

    We are aware that the NDIA has published the 2020/2021 NDIS Price Guides on their website today. 

    The team at SupportAbility are currently in the process of reviewing this information internally and will provide more information shortly.  

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