One of the most common questions we receive from participants is “what is this charge for? I haven’t had an appointment this week.” This question is especially common when it comes to non-face-to-face supports. Although in many cases a support has been provided, when a participant questions why a charge has been made, it can delay the invoice being processed.
Understanding Non-Face-to-Face Supports
Non-face-to-face supports refer to services that are provided remotely, through video calls, phone calls, messaging, emails, and online platforms. Over the past few years, these supports have become more frequently utilised by NDIS providers to deliver timely and cost-effective services to NDIS participants despite not being physically present.
Non-face-to-face supports can include:
Guidance and advice
Planning and coordination of services
Non-face-to-face supports should not include:
Processing NDIS claims
Training and supervising staff
Service agreement negotiation
These services can save NDIS providers time and resources while still maintaining quality service for their participants.
Great as this option is, the NDIS do have requirements for providers to be able to deliver this type of support, which includes:
When the support is included in the participant’s NDIS plan: NDIS providers can only bill for non-face-to-face supports that have been approved and funded by the NDIS.
When the support is delivered within the participant’s plan budget: NDIS providers should ensure that the cost of non-face-to-face supports is within the approved budget for the participant's NDIS plan.
When the support is delivered within the rules and guidelines of the NDIS: NDIS providers should comply with the NDIS rules and guidelines on billing and claiming for non-face-to-face supports.
What are the benefits of non-face-to-face supports?
Non-face-to-face supports offer:
Increased accessibility: by offering non-face-to-face supports providers can reach more participants across Australia.
Flexibility: With non-face-to-face support options, providers can deliver services at a time that is convenient for them, rather than needing to schedule an in-person appointment during business hours.
Reduced costs: Without the need for physical premises or travel, non-face-to-face support services can be more cost-effective for providers to deliver.
Improved outcomes: Regular and ongoing non-face-to-face communication and support can help to improve participant outcomes by providing ongoing monitoring and support.
Personalisation: With the use of various technologies, non-face-to-face support services can be personalised to meet specific needs.
Overall, non-face-to-face support is an essential component of delivering supports and services to participants as it allows providers to deliver quality services, overcome distance barriers, and provide personalised and accessible supports to participants.
Using non-face-to-face supports
If you would like to include non-face-to-face supports in the services you provide participants, it’s important to:
Clearly outline in your service agreement whether non-face-to-face supports are going to be claimed, or how it might be claimed. Your client is much less likely to delay payment to query a charge if they are expecting it.
Clearly state on the invoice, or relevant line item, when a claim is for non-face-to-face supports
Be careful about what activities are being claimed. For example: writing an NDIA-required report is a common non-face-to-face service and is fine to bill to a participants. However, time spent training a junior staff member to write the report would not be considered a suitable claim.
How to bill for non-face-to-face supports
To help reduce delays, it’s important to consider the following when invoicing for non-face-to-face supports:
Determine which non-face-to-face supports are eligible for reimbursement under the NDIS, such as phone or video conferencing, email, and online resources
Keep accurate records of the time spent providing the non-face-to-face supports to the NDIS participant
Ensure your invoice clearly itemises any non face to face supports
Ensure that the invoice complies with the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits, which sets the maximum rates that can be charged for different types of supports
For more specific guidance on understanding and billing for non-face-to-face supports, you can consult with the NDIA or one of our support team on 1300 322 273 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.