Navigating PACE: An In-Depth Guide for Support Coordinators and Participants

Aug 31 / Tim McNamara

Understanding PACE and Its Impact on Support Coordination and NDIS Participants

You've heard the buzz, and maybe you've even experienced a touch of apprehension—or curiosity—about it. Yes, we're talking about PACE, the NDIA’s newly minted participant information management software. PACE is a system update designed to improve the participant and provider experience within the NDIS ecosystem.

NDIA Resources for Support Coordinators

We understand that the NDIS landscape is continually evolving, and as a Support Coordinator, you’re right at the forefront of this transformation. It's your role to not just adapt but to guide and support participants through these adjustments, ensuring they can continue to achieve the best possible outcomes.

So, if you’re ready for a comprehensive understanding of PACE—one that cuts through the jargon to deliver clear, actionable insights—you’re in the right place.

What is PACE?

If you’ve been around the NDIS block, you’ve probably heard of or dealt with PRODA and various other systems and software designed to facilitate the coordination and provision of disability services.

Developed by Salesforce, PACE stands as the NDIA's new business management software, crafted to replace the old Services Australia's SAP software.

So, what sets PACE apart from its predecessor? For starters, it’s designed with user experience at its core. While the old system could often feel cumbersome and limited, PACE aims to offer a more intuitive, streamlined interface.

Key Features of PACE

Understanding the key features of PACE will empower you to navigate this new landscape with confidence and expertise.

Let’s delve into some of these features:

  • Payments for Participant-Endorsed Providers

One of the features of PACE is the concept of "participant-endorsed providers." In simple terms, this allows participants to endorse the providers they wish to deliver their supports. Endorsement comes with its advantages, especially for providers, as it can expedite the payment process.

  • Funding Released in Stages

Another crucial feature of PACE is the phased release of funding for participants. While specific details are still being ironed out, the general idea is to release funds at different intervals, possibly on an annual basis. This is particularly noteworthy for those with longer NDIS plans, as it addresses the need for budget release flexibility.

For Support Coordinators, this staged release of funding means you’ll need to be even more meticulous in budget planning and monitoring. Ensuring that participants are making effective use of their allocated budgets at each stage becomes paramount.

What's Changing?

NDIS Reporting Templates

One of the most significant changes with PACE is the introduction of new reporting templates. The new reporting templates will make it easier for support coordinators to:

  • Share relevant and consistent information with the NDIA.
  • Meet the reporting requirements outlined in the request for service.
  • The templates ask providers for information about:
  • The participant’s support needs and situation.
  • The supports the participant is receiving.
  • The participant’s progress in implementing their plan to pursue their goals.

These templates are designed to make it easier to pull in real-time data and generate comprehensive reports faster. These reporting changes mean that you'll need to familiarise yourself with any new fields and functionalities to ensure that you're capturing all the necessary information for each participant.

Viewing Participant Plans

Under PACE, non-registered Support Coordinators will now have enhanced access to participant plans, provided they have the appropriate consent. They'll be able to view not only a person's goals and nominee details but also the whole plan. This will give them a 360-degree view of what they’re working with, enabling them to provide better, more customised support.

Claims and Payments

The claims process is undergoing a notable transformation. Individual claims will be a thing of the past; under PACE, you'll need to bulk upload all your claims.

Now, you may be wondering how to keep up with these changes without getting bogged down in the nitty-gritty of manual tasks.

That's where Support Coordination Software (SCS) shines.

Automated Invoice Generation and Matching

Forget manual matching of invoices and claims. Support Coordination Software automates this by linking your uploaded claims with the corresponding invoices, thereby ensuring a 100% match and compliance with PACE guidelines.

What's Staying the Same?

Support Categories

While PACE is introducing some new support categories, several existing categories will remain the same. Core supports like "Assistance with daily life" and "Home and living" will continue to exist as they are, providing a degree of continuity that should make the transition easier.

Line Items

Despite the myriad changes, the line items you've been used to will not change, at least for the time being. This is particularly crucial for budgeting and planning, as you won't have to redo all your existing calculations and assessments.

New Features and Tools

Participant-Endorsing Providers

PACE introduces the concept of "participant-endorsing providers. This new system is two-fold: 'General' for supports in any category except Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) and Behaviour Supports, and 'Support Category' for specific support types like SDA and Behaviour Supports.

Time-Saving Bulk Invoicing Claims

The requirement to bulk upload claims might seem daunting. However, Support Coordination Software's invoicing features were specifically engineered for bulk uploads, making this new process not just manageable but actually easier and more efficient than individual claims.

Navigate PACE with Confidence Through Our NDIS Support Coordinator Training

Our NDIS support coordination training online is designed to ensure you not only adapt to changes but thrive in the evolving NDIS landscape. Our workshops are tailored to provide you with actionable insights that you can immediately apply in your day-to-day role.

Support Coordinators come from diverse backgrounds and have varied levels of experience, so we offer course bundles that cater to different learning needs.

Whether it's understanding the new reporting templates under PACE or mastering the art of NDIS budgeting, our training programs aim to equip you with the skills you need.

Together, we can ensure that the implementation of PACE becomes a catalyst for greater effectiveness and participant satisfaction.

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