As Australia’s largest (and leading!) National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan manager, we process hundreds of invoices each day and regularly hear what clients want from their providers. So, if you want tips from the front line about how to deliver 5-star service and get paid for it promptly, read on.
No one likes unexpected or hidden costs – least of all your clients, whose NDIS plan funding is key to achieving their goals. Under the NDIS, you can charge clients for the cost of travel when you:
If you charge a client the maximum hourly rate under the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits and then add travel fees, you may give them ‘bill shock.’ So, how do you balance covering your business costs and providing clients with a great experience? By being transparent.
If your clients are set to incur travel fees, let them know before you provide a service so there’s no shock afterwards.
A cancellation policy can provide security to your business in the event your client cancels their appointment or is a ‘no show’. But if you don’t communicate your cancellation policy up front to your clients and they can’t attend an appointment, they may feel upset by the unexpected (and unwanted) fee.
Similar to travel costs, communicate your cancellation policy up front so everyone understands their responsibilities.
If your client likes to see and approve invoices before they’re paid, or if they sometimes have queries about invoices and what they mean, you can build a relationship of trust simply by sending your invoices to them first.
That way, any queries can be addressed before the invoice comes to us for processing – and that means we can get the ball rolling towards payment that much faster.
As a provider, you’re reliant on a client being transparent about their NDIS plan funding, so you know it will cover the supports you provide. That’s why it’s good to confirm what’s funded in their plan early in the picture and also have a service agreement in place with them. Both can reduce the likelihood of a client not having the funding to pay you.
A service agreement that sets out the quantity and cost of the services you’ll deliver, and what you and the client can both expect, means we can lock in funds in your client’s NDIS plan to make sure they’re available each time you submit an invoice.
Some providers are known to ask to see their clients’ NDIS plan budget before sending them a service agreement and some that make their service agreement equal to the total value of a particular budget category. When this happens, we encourage our clients to ask questions to understand what the provider is recommending and why.
The NDIS doesn’t pay for services in advance, meaning we can’t process future-dated invoices. So, if you send us an invoice that’s dated in the future, we’ll ask you to send it to us again once the service is provided.
To avoid submitting an invoice twice, be sure to invoice after the service, which is consistent with National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) guidelines.
To adhere to the NDIA’s invoicing requirements, we can’t process statements to settle charges for supports you’ve provided. If you send us a statement, we’ll need to contact you to send us an invoice instead. This adds extra steps before you can get paid, so remember – send invoices, not statements!
We’re here to help
We know your time is precious and your customers are valuable, and we’re here to help. If you have any questions, you can email us at [email protected] or call us on 1800 861 272 from 8am-6pm (SA time), Monday to Friday.