Thursday, 1 September 2016

News and commentary on the NDIS (54)

This post is focused on the recent difficulties experienced by both participants and service providers attempting to use the new NDIS 'portal', the subject of an urgent review. Links to other information about the NDIS will be posted separately:


NDIS and Me
People with Down syndrome and/or their families and carers can join the closed Facebook Group, NDIS and Me, for discussion specifically about the NDIS and people with Down syndrome.

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Added 2 September 2016:
NDIS technical delays 'unacceptable', says draft COAG document
Bridget Brennan, AM (ABC Radio), 2 September 2016 (audio file)
The COAG Disability Reform Council is meeting today to discuss major IT setbacks that have slowed the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

AM has seen a draft communique from today's meeting, which concedes that the NDIS is behind schedule and that the delays have been "unacceptable".

The new NDIS online portal has been plagued with problems and has meant thousands of people haven't been able to get care plans approved. The peak body for disability services says the stuff-up has caused considerable stress to disabled Australians.


NDIS myplace portal explained
Every Australian Counts, 31 August 2016
On the same day the NDIS began full transition a new payment portal, myplace was released. It’s been getting some pretty bad press since then, here’s why ...

Media Statement from Minister Porter – NDIS MyPlace portal31 August 2016
In the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s first month of transition from trial to full scheme, the NDIA experienced difficulty in implementing the new NDIS MyPlace payment portal.

As a result there were disruptions and delays in payments being made to a group of providers and participants through the payment portal.

I have been working closely with the NDIA, and now the successful payments to providers and participants have increased from around 70 per cent to a 96 per cent success rate.

Once satisfied the main technical issues had been addressed, the Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services and I ordered an urgent independent review into the MyPlace portal.

This review began on 5 August and is expected to be completed and provided to me shortly.

Based on initial advice from PwC, as well as a short-lived technical issue experienced by bulk service providers, there was also an issue around the adequacy of information provided to users of the payment portal which led to errors in inputting necessary information. That situation is improving rapidly and significantly ... read the full statement here

NDIS IT Debacle Blamed On Technical Glitch
Wendy Williams, Probono News, 31 August 2016
The “IT debacle” that hampered the roll out of the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme has been blamed on a “short-lived technical issue” and a lack of information provided to users ...
Michael Owen, The Australian, 30 August 2016
A staged transition of a new computer system and preparation for inevitable glitches would have saved parents of disabled children and their therapists from frustrating disruptions to the $22 billion National Disability ­Insurance Scheme, Assistant Disabilities Minister Jane Prentice says.

Ms Prentice, the minister ultimately responsible for managing the ­operational side of the NDIS, has just finished another round of meetings across the country as the federal government scrambles to restore faith in an ambitious national rollout that involves ­assessing and approving individual plans for 430,000 ­people during the next three years.

Ms Prentice and Social Services Minister Christian Porter earlier this month were forced to commission a review by PwC into the flawed new MyPlace payment portal used by the National ­Disability Insurance Agency, blamed for some providers being left unpaid and some people ­unable to access services since June.

Ahead of tomorrow’s release of the review’s findings, Ms Prentice told The Australian there were ongoing IT issues that needed to be resolved, despite assurances from the agency a fortnight ago that the “portals are now able to process claims without error”.

The NDIA online processing system was shut down on June 16 to shift to the MyPlace system for the national services rollout on July 1. Ms Prentice said that, in hindsight, perhaps a staged rollout would have been sensible.

“Maybe we could have done it state-by-state,” she said. “I am ­always amazed at some people’s great confidence that everything is going to miraculously work from the first day, because it ­rarely does. I’ve always said you have to assume it’s going to go wrong and be prepared for how to fix it.”

She said the PwC review would pinpoint failures, although sources told The Australian the mainissues appeared to be around communication from the NDIA, and providing the right information to providers and users.

“Any new computer system is going to have problems. In fact, any computer system has ongoing problems,” Ms Prentice said. “We need to be upfront, say ‘we’ve got a problem and we need to fix it, please give us your feedback, so we know where it’s falling over’.” Ms Prentice agreed service providers were experiencing ­financial problems and were very worried for their clients.

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