Plan Management Principles: How IDEAL Exceeds the Expectations

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The NDIA has released its Guide to Plan Management, including 4 principles which set out the expected behaviour in the delivery of plan management. These principles, which we embrace and support, are as follows: 

  • achieving goals and outcomes 
  • ensuring independence
  • demonstrating accountability
  • consumer awareness

As one of Australia’s leading plan managers, we support these principles and the high standards they set out for the industry – all of which we have been dedicated to upholding since our inception in 2016. 

 

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IDEAL Practices: Principles in Action

Here are some examples of how IDEAL Plan Management leads by example, and how these areas have always been embedded in our daily practice:

Ensuring independence

IDEAL has always been an independent provider of plan management services. We are the only leading plan manager in Australia that doesn’t offer other NDIS funded services. 

The NDIA’s Guide to Plan Management specifies that NDIA “encourages participants to engage with an independent plan manager who does not provide other NDIS-funded supports to them” to ensure services are impartial. 

As Chartered Accountants, independence is our lifeblood.

IDEAL isn’t aligned with any providers or organisations, so our plan managers are free to make recommendations based on their personal knowledge and experience with service providers. We are a trusted advisor, serving the interest of participants first by focusing on what we do best: plan management.

Demonstrating accountability

IDEAL applies the strictest data security standards in line with not only retaining the title of Chartered Accountants, but also with those applied at a Federal Government level. We retain all data locally, creating jobs in Australia and keeping participant information safe. 

We are also accountable to participants and their access to supports. While receiving, claiming and paying invoices is the crux of what we do, we don’t stop there. IDEAL plan managers take responsibility for provider liaison when invoicing errors arise, as well as participant education in the additional supports they can access and how.

 We also provide additional budget usage updates via text or email on a weekly basis, or as often as requested. We go the extra mile for our clients, unlike other plan managers who provide only the monthly statements required by the NDIA. 

Achieving goals and outcomes

IDEAL was the first plan manager to provide a template for providers to support the purchase of low-cost assistive technology in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our team is trained extensively in areas such as budget flexibility. This is just one example of how we equip participants to maximise the usage of their budgets, ensuring they continue to achieve their goals even in the face of significant change. 

Further, when a participant calls to ask if their plan will cover driving lessons, we don’t just answer “yes” or “no”. We assess their goals and how driving skills align with those, we ask if they need lessons in a specialised vehicle to accommodate their condition, if they need a support worker to take them to and from lessons or accompany them in the car. Once we have an understanding of the particular situation, we advise which areas of the budget can be accessed and, if that includes more than one category, we also provide advice on which is the best option to allow for maximum flexibility with the remaining funds. 

Consumer awareness

IDEAL’s core mission is to use our knowledge to facilitate choice and control for NDIS participants. We understand and uphold consumer rights, providing advice that is in the interest of the participant as a consumer. 

Again, we go beyond what is required and expected of plan managers by helping participants understand their options when a product or service doesn’t deliver their expected results. As Chartered Accountants, we are a trusted and knowledgeable advisor in this area. 

At IDEAL we share our knowledge to help participants make informed decisions, furthering their ability to achieve their goals in accordance with their personal interests.

 

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Manage Your Manager: Is Your Plan Manager Performing?

 

There are notable similarities between our approach and what the NDIA has now outlined as its expectations, IDEAL is independent, accountable, outcome-focused, and well-versed in consumer law, but how do other plan managers measure up?

If you're not sure how these principles might look in action, we've compiled a list of 8 questions you can ask yourself to assess how your current plan manager is performing:
 

  1. Do other plan manager focus solely on plan management, or are they spreading themselves thin by offering other services? 
  2. Are they straightforward with you, or do they disregard your valuable time by marketing their suite of services to you? 
  3. Do other plan manager answer your questions and solve your queries independently, or do they continually direct you elsewhere? 
  4. Do they take responsibility for helping you?
  5. Do other plan manager help you understand the different ways budgets can be used to optimise the full funding, or do they simply claim and pay your invoices? 
  6. Do they consider your goals and outcomes?
  7. Do other plan managers respect the participant’s rights as a consumer, and do they understand what those rights are? 
  8. Do they empower participants to become informed consumers, regardless of the plan manager’s interests or affiliations?


At IDEAL Plan Management, independence, accountability, outcomes and participants' rights have been at the heart of our mission since day one, can you say the same about other plan managers? 

Engaging IDEAL Plan Management means engaging an industry leader. Talk to one of our friendly Plan Managers about what we can do to take the hassle out of your NDIS plan by calling 1300 800 110 or click here to contact us online.
 

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