In July 2016, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) moved from a trial to a full scheme transition; a move that included the introduction of a new ICT system to support the NDIS, which will be implemented nationally over the next three years. The NDIS will essentially provide funding packages to Australians under 65 who have a disability.
While the NDIS is very well supported, businesses need to make significant changes to ensure their systems and processes align with the NDIS. For example, the scheme includes a new an online portal, called myplace, through which disability service providers manage their registration, connect and make service bookings with participants, and submit and monitor claims for payment. Businesses will need to integrate their existing systems with myplace to streamline processes, including getting paid for services delivered.
How Will Businesses Handle the Changes That the NDIS Will Bring?
Technology will be the key to overcoming NDIS-specific challenges. These challenges are likely to include: cash flow uncertainty; increased competition, particularly for the most profitable services; accounting for multiple services under the same delivery package; and accommodating unexpected requirements in service delivery.
Anticipated growth is another key issue. The previous bulk funding model has resulted in people with disabilities being passive recipients of services, and has restricted service providers’ ability to develop new and innovative services. The changes will put people with disabilities in control of what services they consume, how, and when, in a way that hasn’t been possible before. This will create new areas of demand and competition, letting service providers innovate as appropriate. As a result, people with disabilities can expect to access a broader range of services in a way that makes sense to them.
The resulting complexity means businesses must move on from manual systems and spreadsheets to accommodate the anticipated growth in the number of customers seeking services due to these changes.
How Can WFS Australia Help?
Workforce management software is likely to become an essential tool for disability service providers. WFS: A WorkForce Software Company (WFS Australia) has been aware of this for some time and has prepared for the NDIS rollout.
Specifically, businesses will need a system that integrates with myplace to easily generate payment requests.
As well as achieving this, WFS Australia offers four significant benefits for organisations affected by the NDIS:
- It integrates with the NDIS portal, myplace, to easily generate payment requests, which is essential for the business’s ongoing cash flow and, by extension, viability.
- It improves organisational performance by eliminating manual processes and payroll errors. This is crucial for organisations navigating a new funding and payment model, and for those offering new services that require appropriately-skilled staff to be rostered in specific combinations.
- It ensures compliance by automating leave management. This reduces the administrative burden on already-overwhelmed HR departments.
- It boosts employee productivity and satisfaction by providing streamlined processes and easy-to-use, self-service tools. This lets employees get on with the task of helping people with disabilities, and frees them up to identify opportunities for innovation or more effective competition.
Short-Term Challenges Lead to Long-Term Gain
While the NDIS changes are causing some concern amongst the business community, it’s important to remember that the short-term challenges can lead to long-term business benefits. Disability service providers that embrace these challenges and address them directly using the right technology can become more cost-effective and efficient, and can significantly improve client outcomes. This can help these businesses to compete more successfully, opening up opportunities to innovate, provide new services, and focus on the most profitable or in-demand services.