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Support Coordinator

Plan Manager

Budget Builder

The future of Support Coordination and Plan Management

Auscare Support LOVE being Support Coordinators and Plan Managers. We believe that both supports have a fundamental role to play in the successful transition of disability funding from the old bulk/block funding to the current person-centric focus.

With the NDIS being a “use it or lose it” funded scheme… Auscare Support believe that the NDIS should have funded every single participant with some Support Coordination budget. It would have provided anyone who needed it a safety net of qualified supports to help them activate their plan. If they did not need it, then they would not have used it.

But Support Coordination is a capacity building budget. The concept is that a Support Coordinator:

– builds up the capacity of a person to navigate the NDIS;

– puts that person on the pathway to achieving their goals; and

– creates a network of supports.

The aim is to create in the individual the capacity to work through changes to their status quo and to come out the other side, with a new status quo established. However, the future of both Support Coordination and Plan Management has been a discussion point within the sector of late.

I was talking to a potential investor in Auscare Support recently – they raised a concern that Support Coordination would not be a line item that was going to be funded by the NDIS long-term.

Shortly after that call, the Disability Services Consulting group wrote about the end of Plan Management as we know it. The article, published on the 4th June 2020, asked the question “Could Plan Management be on its way out?

The source of this clickbait title was the tender that the NDIS had put out requesting organisations contribute to their understanding of the latest technology solutions in the payment space.

This tender was a tacit acknowledgement of the current limitations of the current NDIS situation. These limitations include but are not limited to:

  1. The delays in paying providers for services provided;

  2. The plethora of issues with payment integrity and capacity for fraud; and

  3. The administrative burden and cost associated with the current payment and service agreement situation.

What is most alarming about the current situation is that it is genuinely difficult for some participants to access real time live information relating to what budgets they have remaining, allocated or unallocated.

Fast Forward…

Auscare Support has gazed into its crystal ball and has made some bold predictions. I propose to revisit these in 12 – 24 months to see if we are on the money or wildly off the mark.

Real time payments
Payments will be made instantly to providers, with real time information shared to participants (regardless of how their plan is managed). 12 months.

Support Coordination
The Agency will try to move Support Coordination to Local Area Coordinator’s (LACs) and create new categories (Psychosocial Recovery Coaches for example) that will “save money”. But the fundamentally important role of Support Coordinators will see a backlash and backflip by the Agency. 24 months.

Fraud
The NDIS will need to introduce much stronger compliance and document management protocols as increasing numbers of frauds and “cooking the books” are identified. 18 months.

So, these are some predictions regarding the future of Plan Management and Support Coordination. Auscare Support are betting on a robust future and longevity in both streams – both are important to the success of the NDIS and any talk of their demise is very premature.

Max King
CEO – Auscare Support

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