What's new?

August 2013

The Department of Human Services Compliance Program for 2013-15 has been released.

Practice Incentives Program (PIP)

What is the Practice Incentives Program (PIP)?

The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) is aimed at supporting general practice activities that encourage continuing improvements, quality care, enhance capacity, and improve access and health outcomes for patients.

The PIP is administered by Medicare on behalf of the Department of HealthExternal link. There are 10 individual incentives in the PIP.

PIP Incentives

Currently PIP is made up of 10 individual incentives, and practices can apply for as many of the following incentives as they are eligible for.

Quality Prescribing Incentive (QPI)

The PIP Quality Prescribing Incentive (QPI) aims to encourage practices to keep up to date with information on the quality use of medicines. The PIP QPI rewards participation by practices in a range of activities recognised or provided by the National Prescribing Service (NPS).

The NPS aims to assist GPs to achieve more effective, quality prescribing through a range of education, support and prescribing information. The NPS is a professional organisation, run independently of the Australian Government with broad GP representation and leadership.

Diabetes Incentive

The PIP Diabetes Incentive aims to encourage GPs to provide earlier diagnosis and effective management of people with established diabetes mellitus.

Cervical Screening Incentive

The PIP Cervical Screening Incentive aims to encourage GPs to screen under-screened women (i.e. women aged between 20 and 69 years who have not had a cervical smear in the last four years) for cervical cancer and to increase overall screening rates.

Asthma Incentive

The PIP Asthma Incentive aims to encourage GPs to better manage the clinical care of people with moderate to severe asthma.

Generally, patients must meet the following criteria to be assessed as having moderate to severe asthma:

  • symptoms on most days OR
  • use of preventative medication OR
  • bronchodilator use at least three times per week OR
  • hospital attendance or admission following an acute exacerbation of asthma

Indigenous Health Incentive

The PIP Indigenous Health Incentive aims to support general practices and Indigenous health services to provide better health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, including best practice management of chronic disease.

This incentive is a key part of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap: Tackling Indigenous Chronic Disease.

eHealth Incentive

The PIP eHealth Incentive eligibility requirements changed on 1 February 2013. Four new requirements have been introduced, with a fifth requirement introduced on 1 May 2013. For guidance on how to meet these requirements, go to the implementation overview documents for each requirement on the nehta websiteExternal link.

The PIP eHealth Incentive aims to encourage practices to keep up to date with the latest developments in eHealth.

To be eligible to receive the eHealth incentive practices must:

  • integrate Healthcare Identifiers into Electronic Practice Records which consist of;
    • apply for Medicare to obtain a Healthcare Provider Identifier-Organisation (HPI-O) for the practice and store the HPI-O in a compliant clinical software system
    • ensure that each general practitioner within the practice has their Healthcare Provider Identifier-Individual (HP-I) stored in a compliant clinical software system, and
    • use a compliant clinical software system to access, retreive and store verified Individual Healthcare Identifiers (IHI) for presenting patients
  • have a standard-compliant secure messaging capability
  • work towards recording the majority of diagnoses for active patients electronically
  •  ensure the majority of their prescriptions are sent electronically to a Prescription Exchange Service (PES) provide all GPs at the practice with access to the current editions of key electronic clinical resources as detailed in the eHealth Incentive Guidelines
  • use software that is listed on the PIP eHealth Product Register for the Personally Controlled Electronic Health (eHealth) Record system and apply to participate in the eHealth record system upon obtaining a HPI-O

This incentive has been developed in consultation with the NEHTA, and aligns with the directions set out in the Australian Government’s National eHealth Strategy.

The PIP eHealth Incentive will encourage the adoption of new eHealth technology as it becomes available, to assist practices to improve administration processes and the quality of care provided to patients.

Teaching Payment

The PIP Teaching Payment aims to encourage general practices to provide teaching sessions to undergraduate and graduate medical students preparing for entry into the Australian Medical profession, to make sure the practitioners of tomorrow are appropriately trained and have actual experience of general practice.

Practice GPs are expected to engage in (more or less) normal consultations when the student is present. Payments are intended to compensate practices for the reduced number of consultations due to the presence of the student.

Rural Loading Incentive

Practices participating in the PIP with a main practice location situated outside capital cities and other major metropolitan centres are automatically paid a rural loading. The rural loading recognises the difficulties of providing care, often with little professional support, in rural and remote areas. The PIP rural loading is higher for practices in more remote areas, in recognition of the added difficulties of providing medical care.

Procedural GP Payment

The Procedural GP Payment aims to encourage GPs in rural and remote areas to maintain local access to surgical, anaesthetic and obstetric services.

GP Aged Care Access Incentive

The PIP General Practitioner Aged Care Access Incentive (ACAI) aims to encourage GPs to provide increased and continuing services in Australian Government funded residential aged care facilities (RACFs).

Glossary

AGPAL
Australian General Practice Accreditation Ltd
DVA
Department of Veterans' Affairs
FTE GP
Full Time Equivalent General Practitioner
GPA PLUS
General Practice Accreditation Plus
GPFG
General Practice Financing Group
GPSRG
General Practice Strategy Review Group
GPII
General Practice Immunisation Incentives
MBS
Medicare Benefits Schedule
NPS
National Prescribing Service
PIP
Practice Incentives Program
PNAHW
Practice Nurse / Allied Health Worker/Aboriginal Health Worker
QAS
Quality Assurance Services
QPI
Quality Prescribing Initiative
QSL
Qualifying Service Levels
RACFs
Residential Aged Care Facilities
RACGP
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
RCTI
Recipient Created Tax Invoice
RRMA
Rural, Remote & Metropolitan Area
SWPE
Standardised Whole Patient Equivalent
WPE
Whole Patient Equivalent

Last updated: 20 January, 2014