Director of new Melbourne-based disability service Prime National Care, Amgad Shehada shares his story about starting his business and establishing his business systems using Comm.care.
Armed with business acumen and local knowledge gained from some involvement in his family’s business—a family daycare agency—Amgad Shehada felt prepared venture into the provision of disability services under the NDIS.
He launched Prime National Care earlier this year and has ambitious growth plans.
“Being an operator in this part of Melbourne for such a long time helped a lot. We’re already connected with this community, and a lot of the educators from the family daycare agency are qualified to work across both industries,” he said.
“A lot of the families we’ve been helping for years have children with disability or know other families, relatives and friends that have a disability—so we had an existing network of contacts we could activate straight away.”
Prime National Care is registered to provide core supports, home modifications and in-home nursing. While the business is currently focused on growing its client base in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, there are plans to eventually service communities all across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Challenge: navigating the NDIS structure
It wasn’t all smooth sailing to get the new business up and running. Amgad said there was a lot of confusion for new providers entering the market.
“Probably more than 50 percent of the people I’ve spoken with don’t know how to start, what to do, how claims are done, how services are provided, what paperworks is needed—there’s lots of gaps.”
To improve his understanding of how to operate within the NDIS and improve his readiness to run an effective disability support service Amgad worked with consultancy Amergin.
Challenge: cost-effective business systems
Amgad said the next stumbling block he faced was implementing good business systems, and the expense of many software solutions.
“As a new entrant, and even with a bit of a cash reserve to inject into my business, I found myself unwilling to invest tens of thousands of dollars into systems that are designed for massive organisations,” he said.
“Comm.care by Pnyx was the most viable option for a small organisation just starting to build up because the cost was reasonable—it’s related to how many active participants you have, and you only get charged for those participants.”
How does Comm.care make running an NDIS business easier?
Amgad said the Comm.care platform was excellent for recording participants details, adding team members, setting up service prices, and having a cloud-based record of client paperwork and case notes.
But the biggest daily time-savings the software offered his business was being able to manage appointments and generate bulk NDIS claims to upload into the my place portal.
“The calendar allows you to set-up appointments for participants very smoothly, and out into the future. There are very powerful functions in terms of amending bookings too, you can basically control whether to amend a single event, future occurrences or a whole sequence of appointments,” he said.
“Comm.care also allows you to generate a bulk claim file that is 100 percent compatible with the NDIS. That feature is extremely powerful and I like it a lot.
“It gives you peace of mind. Once your appointments are set-up correctly, and your team is marking them as provided, from then on it’s smooth because you can go in and generate any reporting you want—invoices, statements and claims.”
He said he found the platform user-friendly and thought the social collaboration tools, similar to a Facebook feed, improved communication across his team.
“The fact that it’s centred around a circle or care means that all the people in the circle for a particular participant can see what the others are doing, can read and add comments, so we all have visibility of where the participant is and what other stakeholders have done.”
A software solution to grow with
In addition to Comm.care’s cost-effective coverage of important functions required to manage care, Amgad said he admires Pnyx’s customer service and commitment to innovation.
He believes Comm.care could become an even more powerful tool and has contributed a number of ideas about the future development of the product.
“Pnyx is a young organisation, like us, and I’m sure the system is going to develop at the same pace so it will suit me as we grow together,” he said.
“Juan (founder) has been welcoming of my feedback and very responsive. This software is going to evolve over time to add more functionality, shoulder to shoulder with my business needs.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Comm.care, please contact our team to ask a question or organise a free demo.