5 Common NDIS Payments Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
It’s easy to make a mistake when invoicing and processing NDIS payments. From support item reference numbers to knowing which items require GST, there’s a lot to double-check before submitting your invoices.
Filing your NDIS invoices correctly the first time around, however, will ensure not only that you’re paid for the care you provide but also that you’re paid quickly and efficiently.
In turn, this can dramatically improve your cash flow and decrease your workload — not to mention, reduce your stress levels.
Mistake 1: Wrong Funding Categories or Item Codes
When you bill for a service, you need to specify the support item reference number and description. This might seem simple, but don’t forget that the code may vary according to the day or time of day that services were provided. Other conditions can also affect the categories and codes, such as working in a remote location.
The Support Catalogue (previously called the NDIS Price Guide) lists all the available categories, along with their price limits. You need to double-check it carefully when invoicing.
Alternatively, NDIS software will allow you to automate this process. With ShiftCare, you can import the support catalogue for your region. Then, when allocating shifts and services, you can simply select the relevant support category from the ones already on the system.
Finally, when it’s time to create your invoices, the software will automatically use the category descriptions and item codes assigned to the services. You won’t have to worry about typos or human error.
Mistake 2: Not Including the (Correct) Dates of the Services Provided
Although it would make invoicing much quicker, you can’t just invoice for a set number of hours per month. Every single time you provide a service, you need to add a new line to your invoice with the correct date.
Although you’re not technically required to add the time, it’s a good idea, especially because price limits differ for daytime and evening services.
Make sure to carefully record when you or your team provide services. A digital record can help you avoid issues, such as someone writing down the time wrong or a client disputing the dates. For example, ShiftCare allows you to clock in and out with location verification. This creates a fail-proof record and makes invoicing simple.
Mistake 3: Exceeding the NDIS Price Limits
Invoicing too much for an item isn’t just a guaranteed way to have your invoices rejected; it’s also a nightmare for financial planning. When you eventually get paid, you’ll receive less than you expected, and you may have to revise your profitability levels or cut costs somewhere. Alternatively, undercharging will see you losing out on income.
That’s why it’s important to use an up-to-date Support Catalogue and review how the price limits change according to date, time, location and other factors. Remember to read the addendums too, which can cover temporary COVID measures, specialist equipment and more.
If invoicing manually, make sure to double-check you’re invoicing the correct price. Alternatively, NDIS payments software like ShiftCare can automatically allocate the price for you based on the imported Support Catalogue.
Mistake 4: Surpassing a Client’s Funds
Exceeding a client’s funds will lead to unbillable hours. If you included them on an invoice, your entire invoice would be rejected.
On the other hand, underutilising a client’s funds is a lose-lose situation: the client doesn’t receive all the service they’re entitled to and your income stream is reduced. Unfortunately, funds underutilisation is surprisingly common, especially among newer participants.
Keeping close track of a client’s plan and forecasting their usage will help you make the most of their funds without overspending. For clients with multiple funds, remember to keep those separate to avoid exceeding one while underutilising another.
ShiftCare’s Funds Management function, complete with expiry notifications, can help you stay on target here. Not only will it let you track funds utilisation in real time, but you’ll be able to forecast spending and adapt care plans based on that information. You’ll also be notified straight away if a client’s funds run out.
Mistake 5: Not Claiming NDIS Payments in Bulk
Invoicing can be time-consuming, but if you’re submitting NDIS payments claims one by one, there’s an easy way to increase your efficiency: bulk claims.
Submitting all your invoices in one file will make organising, uploading and tracking your NDIS payments requests quicker and simpler. In fact, ShiftCare clients have found that the bulk invoicing feature means they spend 90% less time on invoicing. It can even lead to quicker payments.
Submitting NDIS payments claims individually might not lead to rejected invoices, but it will waste a significant amount of your time. Plus, the repetitive nature of the task means a higher risk of human error.
A provider with just 15 clients receiving one weekly service each would still have to submit an average of 65 invoices a month — making it easy to accidentally attach the wrong invoice file or skip one. With bulk claims, however, those 65 invoices become just one file, and the risk of human errors is significantly reduced.
Avoid Rejected NDIS Payments and Simplify Your Claims Process
NDIS invoicing and payments processing is complex, and making an error can lead to extra work and delays in payments. Fortunately, once you’ve got a good NDIS invoice template (or software that will handle NDIS invoicing for you), the process will run much smoother.
Here at ShiftCare, we produce software designed to make your life simpler. Our NDIS software will help you track a client’s funds, budget appropriately, assign correct NDIS categories and codes to each service, and record exactly what services are provided. When it’s time to invoice, the program will auto-generate compliant invoices for you and help you to bulk claim them.
Try ShiftCare for free to see how we can help you invoice quicker and easier.