All we know about the NDIS’ new PACE system

Acacia Plan Management new NDIS PACE system
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The NDIS began trialling a new system called PACE aimed at improving and optimising the participant experience. The trial began in Tasmania in November 2022 and is expected to launch to the rest of Australia in November 2023.

What do we know about the PACE system?

PACE is a new computer system aimed at improving connections between participants and the NDIS and bring efficiency within the NDIA to allow their staff and partners to have more time supporting people with disability to access supports.

Improvements are being made to a new computer system and the ‘my NDIS’ provider portal, to improve how providers and the NDIA work together to support participants.  

The new system is being tested alongside providers in Tasmania who have shared suggestions to improve the user experience and this will continue after the national launch.

The system will feature several important new functions including:

  • Faster payments for providers who are endorsed by their participants
  • Funding released in stages
  • Changes to support categories
  • Providers will need to bulk upload their claims, as the portal will no longer allow them to make single claims
  • New portals for providers and participants
  • Removal of service bookings
  • Increased access to participant plans

Participant involvement in planning

The planning aspect of PACE ensures that participants have greater input and involvement in the development of their NDIS plans. The NDIA intend to move toward increasing plans up to three years with a year-by-year annual budget. Each year, the NDIS plan to perform a check in to discuss plan funding, how you are tracking against your goals and discuss if any changes to your plan or goals are required.

It is important to note the national rollout date of November 2023 applies only to new plans or plans that are up for a reassessment.  If your plan does not have an upcoming end date, you could be waiting to transition until your plan comes up for reassessment.

Pricing and categories

There will be no changes to how supports are funded or the maximum rates that can be claimed. There will be six new support categories added and new plans will be created based on categories and not “line-by-line”.  In practice, this should bring more flexibility to how the total budget can be spent.

New portal

Participants and providers will gain access to new portals designed to create a more user-friendly experience. Participants can navigate to their new ‘my NDIS’ portal via the NDIS website, thereby avoiding the minefield of the MyGov website.

In transitioning to PACE, providers will need to use two portals – the new my NDIS provider portal and the old myplace portal.  Providers will continue to claim using the old portal.  Whether they will continue to run two portals remains to be seen.  Support item numbers used to claim will also not change for the time being. However, once a participant has transitioned to PACE, providers will have to bulk upload all their claims as they will no longer be to make single claims.

Access to participants’ plans

PACE will increase access to a participant’s plan for providers if they have consent.  Under PACE, the following will be possible:

  • Registered providers can view a person’s goals and nominee details.
  • Support coordinators and psychosocial recovery coaches (PRCs) can view the full plan.
  • Plan managers can view parts of the plan they are managing. 

What are the benefits of the PACE system for participants and plan managers?

The change to the PACE system is intended to bring about positive change. The removal of service bookings means far less administration is required to onboard and manage funding, which should result in a smoother experience when engaging with or changing a plan manager.

Will there be a change to how participants request plan management?

If you’re already an NDIS participant and your time to transition happens, you will need to confirm you wish to stay with Acacia Plan Management.

While the new PACE system ‘should’ have minimal impact on day-to-day supports and services, there are definitely some changes that may take time to settle into.  We will continue to share our learnings of the new system as we approach rollout.  Stay tuned!

Providers can find more information here.

Participants can find more information here.