Conflict of Interest Policy
Maxlife Care aims:
- To act in accordance with its values;
- To comply with its general and specific obligations as a registered provider of supports under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Conflict of Interest: A situation where a person has competing interests or loyalties. The conflict can be a real or perceived personal benefit or financial interest from actions or decisions made in their official capacity, where their decision is affected by relationships. These relationships can be because of family, friends or other positions they hold (for example, sitting on Boards, employment outside of Maxlife Care).
Registered Support Coordination Provider: An NDIS provider who is registered to help NDIS clients to identify, connect with and work with service providers who provide the supports best suited to them. These providers must be registered to provide Support Coordination.
As a registered provider of supports under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Maxlife Care has responsibilities in relation to:
- managing conflicts of interest generally
- managing conflicts of interest in plan management and support coordination, and
- offering or receiving gifts, benefits and commissions.
Managing conflicts of interest generally
The NDIS Terms of Business for Registered Providers require providers to have policies about potential conflicts of interest in service delivery.
Maxlife Care and its team members will ensure that when providing supports to customers under the NDIS, including when offering plan management or support coordination services, any conflict of interest is declared and any risks to customers are mitigated.
All employees will act in the best interests of NDIS participants and other customers, ensuring that participants are informed, empowered and able to maximise choice and control. Staff members will not (by act or omission) constrain, influence or direct decision-making by a person with a disability and/or their family so as to limit that person’s access to information, opportunities, and choice and control.
Employees will ensure that Maxlife Care proactively manages perceived and actual conflicts of interest in service delivery. Employees will:
- Manage, document and report on individual conflicts as they arise, and
- Ensure that advice to a participant about support options (including those not delivered directly by Maxlife Care) is transparent and promotes choice and control.
As required by the NDIA Terms of Business, all participants will be “treated equally, and no participant [shall be] given preferential treatment above another in the receipt or provision of supports”. (See note below.)
Managing conflict of interest in plan management and support coordination
When delivering Support Coordination, staff must only recommend and provide supports that are appropriate to the needs of clients. This means providing truthful information about the:
- supports, services or products delivered by providers, including Maxlife Care;
- capacity, qualifications, training and professional affiliations of providers and their staff, including Maxlife Care and its staff; and
- full costs of supports and what these include.
Information provided to support clients’ decision making may include: quotes, cost breakdowns for different support options; other people’s feedback about supports they’ve received and the risks and benefits of different supports.
Any conflict of interest related to delivering Support Coordination must be declared to all clients using Maxlife Care’s Support Coordination services, as part of their intake and assessment. Strategies to address the conflict must also be explained. Should a client choose to use another provider because of this conflict, staff must respect their decision.
Strategies Maxlife Care has in place to manage the conflict of interest involved in delivering Support Coordination along with other NDIS supports include:
- maintaining a clear separation of responsibilities between Support Coordination staff and other staff;
- providing clients with the option of several providers for each type of support they are seeking;
- where only one option of provider can be suggested for a particular support, thoroughly documenting the rationale for this, and reviewing it regularly;
- keeping detailed records of any issues that arise with supports provided to a client by Maxlife Care, including the actions taken and how the issue was resolved;
- continually working with clients and other areas of Maxlife Care to understand how well their supports are meeting their needs and adjusting support delivery before issues emerge;
- explaining the difference between Support Coordination and other supports funded in clients’ NDIS plans, including the requirement that supports provided be reasonable and necessary; and
- explaining that any choice clients make about providers of other supports will not impact the provision of their Support Coordination.
People must also be informed about their right to change Support Coordinators and how they can go about doing so, as well as Maxlife Care’s feedback and complaints processes.
Supported Independent Living
Clients must be given the choice of the service providers who provide support to them. Regardless of which service provider/s they choose, their housing rights, including security of tenure, must be upheld.
Where Maxlife Care delivers supported independent living services in properties that it owns or has interests in, staff must disclose this conflict of interest to clients, as part of their intake and assessment. Strategies to address the conflict must also be explained. Should a client choose to use another provider because of this conflict, staff must respect their decision.
Gifts, benefits and commissions and the NDIS
Maxlife Care or its staff must not accept any offer of money, gifts, services or benefits that would cause them to act in a manner contrary to the interests of an NDIS participant. Further, employees must have no financial or other personal interest that could directly or indirectly influence or compromise the choice of provider or provision of supports to a participant. This includes the obtaining or offering of any form of commission by employees or Maxlife Care.
- National Disability Insurance Scheme (Registered Providers of Supports) Rules 2013
- Terms of Business for Registered Providers (effective 1 July 2016)
This does not prevent providers determining which people they will accept as customers on the basis of considerations such as: provider capability; the consequences of NDIS price caps; location; work health and safety; customer mix; and, risk appetite.
Monitoring and Review
This policy and procedure will be reviewed at least annually by the Leadership Team. Reviews will incorporate staff, client and other stakeholder feedback, where relevant.
All methods of obtaining feedback will be used to assess client and staff satisfaction with Maxlife Care’s conflict of interest processes and provide stakeholders with the opportunity to provide feedback on areas for improvement.