More than half a million Australians have had their lives changed thanks to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). As the service continues to grow and mature, Intelligent Automation is looking to be an important tool in decreasing the administrative burden that the service entails.
The NDIS helps Australians living with a disability by identifying the support they need to achieve goals in many aspects of their lives. These goals can be big or small, ranging from independence, education and employment to health and well-being and involvement in their community.
Australians with a disability deserve to have greater choice and control over how and when they receive support, and the NDIS helps provide this while also ensuring that they receive the support they need over their lifetime.
The NDIS is expected to provide funding to over 650,000 Australians living with a disability within the next three years. This means providing more than $40 billion in payments each year.
The popularity of NDIS's plan management service also continues to grow. The service helps NDIS recipients to better understand their entitlement and manage their funds, with around 57% of recipients choosing to receive help from a plan manager.
My Plan Manager Group, which comprises Assist Plan Managers, National Disability Support Partners and My Plan Manager, is the sector's largest plan management company, and has grown more than 50% in the past year to collectively support more than 50,000 clients.
The group, which was founded in 2014, helps clients make the most of their NDIS funding. My Plan Manager Group now processes claims for more than 11% of the plan management sector in Australia.
The My Plan Manager brand alone processes thousands of invoices on behalf of its clients daily, with the volume of invoices increasing by almost 50% over the last 12 months.
"Much of the business' process for NDIS claims and payment was still reliant on My Plan Manager's original, custom-built platform, which was nearing the end of its useful life. In order to sustain growth, a step change was required to remove process limitations, support system stability and mitigate risks," says Richard Hilliard, Chief Technology Officer, My Plan Manager.
"The business was rapidly expanding and our existing systems were highly manual, resulting in rework, and also limiting our ability to scale."
My Plan Manager embarked on a whole-of-business effort to upgrade its technology, enhance processes and significantly improve its risk and quality guardrails. This happened while being challenged by increased regulations and compliances, public scrutiny and customer expectations.
To achieve this goal, My Plan Manager partnered with rapidMATION, an Australian-based Intelligent Automation consulting services company, to implement the new Automated Claims Experience (ACE) platform.
ACE meant that My Plan Manager could automate their Accounts Payable process using a combination of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and the ability to automate key decisions via a rules engine. The end solution included a combination of UiPath, ABBYY and Salesforce.
RPA lets organisations automate and optimise repetitive tasks and processes, which can be broken down into rules. Similar to industrial robots, it started by handling the basic heavy lifting, but as the technology has increased in sophistication, it has become capable of managing much more intricate and complex tasks.
Modern RPA does this by using complex algorithms and machine learning to continually improve while reducing the need for manual human intervention.
RPA in combination with ABBYY’s cloud-based Intelligent Document Processing platform automated the data capture for 4.5 million invoices per annum from 70,000 different providers, significantly reducing manual data entry efforts and mistakes.
The ACE solution automates many processes, freeing employees to focus on exceptions and work that adds value for clients, especially those that require a human touch.
"The results are clear," continues Hilliard, "We've seen increased productivity as many manual tasks have been eliminated and turnaround times improved."
"At the same time, the system is significantly more resilient to potential fraud exposure and has reduced client vulnerability."
Through this automation, the amount of human interventions required when processing claims had significantly reduced. It has increased from only 25% of claims being fully automated to now regularly up to 60%.
Embracing RBA has provided an opportunity to optimise and enhance processes that unlock further business value.
"Intelligent Automation isn't just about rubber stamping things. the ability to embed intelligence into our platform has been key in getting the results that we see today," adds Hilliard.
"That means our clients get better outcomes and better service from providers, and that those providers get paid accurately and on time, all of which contributes to the NDIS delivering value to everyone."