Aged care providers that offer NDIS services are likely to still have to use two different payment systems even after the new digital payment platforms are rolled out.

It was revealed in briefings held last month for IT vendors and other parties interested in the new digital payment platform that NDIS payments are not within the scope of the system overhaul.

While the review process is only just underway with an official request for information yet to be announced, vendors have been told the NDIS payments system is being developed separately.

The Department of Health is leading the procurement of a new IT systems platform, which will include the systems currently operated by Health, the Department of Human Services and Veterans’ Affairs and the Digital Transformation Agency.

In response to a question from the audience about whether payments would be related, the Departmental representatives said:

“Whilst there are relationships between this system and other systems within government, they are being developed separately. Clearly, in terms of policy requirements, there are some complexities that are being worked through about how those systems interact, but these payments are separate and stand alone from NDIS.”

More than 260 people attended the briefings in Melbourne and Sydney last month about the tender process for the new digital payments platform.

The briefings attracted not only technology providers but a number of service integrators, providers organisations, consultants and industry bodies.

A Request for Information (RFI) from the market on how a new digital payments platform should be designed and delivered; the capabilities that exist within the market to deliver it; and potential procurement approaches is expected to be released in coming weeks.

The programs in scope include MBS and DVA medical payments, insurance support, PBS and RPBS payments, residential care and home care payments, as well as other non-grant payments such as continence aids.

In addition to improved user experiences the new platform will support streamlined service delivery and automation, data capture and analytic capability.

While one of the concerns raised by attendees at the briefing was the need for everyone to fully understand business processes, inputs and outputs, the Department said it does not intend to make available the information provided through the request for information for stage one of the process.

Instead, it wants the first stage to be as open as possible to lead to as many innovative inputs as possible.

The Department is conducting a two-stage request for proposals process including the initial request for information followed by a procurement phase.

It said it hopes to be able to appoint the vendor or vendors by the end of this year and demonstrate progress in the implementation of the new system by early 2019.