Although unpaid invoices are not a common occurrence, sometimes they can happen. And we know this can be frustrating. So, we wanted to breakdown what to do if an invoice hasn’t been paid, and some of the reasons why this might occur.
What to do if an invoice hasn’t been paid
As plan managers, we always discuss how our plan managed participants would like invoices paid. Some participants want to review every invoice before it is paid, while others are comfortable with them being processed without waiting for approval. In both cases, we will send a copy of the invoice to our participants.
If an invoice hasn’t been paid, you can reach out to one of our team members to check the status of the invoice. There may be a minor delay while we are waiting for approval from the participant, they may have requested the invoice be put on hold, or the invoice doesn’t meet the NDIS standards.
Waiting for approval
Participants who wish to approve every invoice are encouraged to do this at their earliest convenience. This helps to prevent processing delays on our end. However, sometimes delays are inevitable. If an invoice approval has been delayed, rest assured we are in contact with our plan managed participants to have this completed in a timely manner.
If an invoice has been put on hold at the request of the participant, we advise them to to reach out to providers to discuss concerns they have with the invoice. It’s important to check with the participant to understand what the core issue is with the invoice in order to resolve it.
Some reasons a participant may put an invoice on hold include:
Services provided don’t match what is listed in the invoice
Transport fees for participant or provider
Best practice is to discuss the issue with the participant to try to resolve it as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
Remember, most of these reasons can be avoided or mitigated by having a clear service agreement in place with the participant.
Plan managers have no authority to pay an invoice that the participant has instructed not to be paid.
The NDIA and the ATO have set regulations for invoicing correctly. If we receive invoices that don’t have the right ABN, line item, participant name or number etc. this can cause delays in processing the invoice while we make contact to clarify. It’s always a good idea to double check your invoices before sending them through to our team to prevent delays.
We have a downloadable invoicing checklist for providers available on our website.
When a participant can’t pay vs won’t pay
In the rare circumstance that a participant can’t pay an invoice, this may be because of a technical issue or limited funding. If a participant is out of funding this is where our plan management team or the participant’s support coordinator (if they have one) can help come up with creative ways to use their plan funding to process the invoice. It may be as simple as moving money from transport funding into consumables or a participant may need to apply for a change of circumstances with the NDIA to resolve the lack of available funding.
If a participant won’t pay despite having funding available, try to understand what the underlying issue is, refer to the service agreement, and work together to come up with a solution for this and any future invoices. We cannot process an invoice if a participant has directly asked us not to. We always encourage participants and providers to discuss any issues with each other.
If you have a participant who is plan managed with First2Care, you can register your details with our First2Care team for quick and easy payment processing. Read more about First2Care Plan Management here.