How Baptcare created a compliant ‘Improved Payment Arrangements’ platform in 12 weeks
INDUSTRY: Aged & Disability Care
Baptcare is a not-for-profit organisation providing care for vulnerable people, with more than 3,000 employees across 40 locations in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
In 2021, the Federal Government mandated a significant change to Home Care Package funding, called ‘Improved Payment Arrangements’ or IPA, that would impact providers’ cash flow. Complying with the new and evolving requirements on a short deadline would require significant resources.
Under phase one, providers started receiving funding for their clients in arrears each month. And from September 2021, with phase two, funds would only be received for services delivered. Previously, each customers’ full funding was paid to providers upfront, and the provider would remain the custodian of any unused amounts.
Preparing for the significant phase two impact to the Baptcare Self Managed In Home Care business between June and September 2021 fell to Baptcare’s Technology Transformation team, led by Ram Varadachari.
“Home care funding is complicated,” Ram says. “And customers’ entitlements can change when being looked after in hospital or when their income varies. The new IPA requirements made things a lot harder for all home care providers.
Baptcare needed to draw down on different buckets of funding, and to track unspent funds and income-tested fees to enable the organisation to accurately claim for services and bill customers, when necessary, in a timely manner. The complex process needed to handle retrospective calculations, and would significantly impact back-office processes as well as customers.
“So it was really quite complicated and all of this had to be done in three months,” Ram says. “We were also dealing with a lack of detail on the requirements – we needed to embed adaptability in our solution and have a team in place to deliver that solution quickly while being ready to pivot as requirements changed.”
THE SIMPLUS + BAPTCARE SOLUTION
In 12 weeks, the team reached MVP and built out a strong foundation for future iteration for Baptcare. Based on an evaluation of the project’s success, Baptcare is rolling out the solution to its core In Home Care business, which is still on a legacy platform.
- Calculate and confirm correct opening balances per customer and for various buckets of funding
- Report to government departments as required
- Automate decisions and draw down from various buckets of funding
- Automate reconciliation of each customer’s sub-ledger at month-end
After the core release, with some of the ambiguity around government requirements resolved and the first month’s reporting uncovering small user errors, the Baptcare and Simplus teams took the opportunity to iterate and improve.
- Ability to apply transactions retrospectively added
- Sources of small errors that arose in customer statements tracked and corrected
"What the team has been able to achieve in 12 weeks has been amazing. Simplus really listened to us, understood our business and won our trust. If they said something needed to be done, we knew that it needed to be done".
Technology Delivery Manager
Within the tight 12-week deadline, the team created a minimum viable product (MVP) that would ensure compliance and avoid potential impact to operations as well as its customers.
That MVP provided a strong foundation for iteration and, based on the project’s success, is being rolled out to its core In Home Care business. This project also cemented Baptcare’s ‘extended team’ – the Simplus staff members dedicated to supporting Baptcare’s core team.
“The Simplus team working with Baptcare has grown considerably and enabled us to move quickly,” Ram says.
As part of Baptcare’s resource augmentation model, Simplus team members have built deep expertise in both Baptcare and its processes and platforms, including receiving further training on Baptcare’s non-Salesforce platforms.
“We have a really ambitious and challenging program of work ahead of us,” says Ram. “But we also have Simplus resources supporting our teams across financial management, workforce management, service delivery, lead-to-onboarding, and testing to clear bottlenecks there.
“It’s a great partnership because Simplus is building capabilities to support us within Simplus at the same time as helping us deliver and build capability within Baptcare.”