The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) is a government initiative aimed at supporting and improving the delivery of primary health care services in Australia. The program provides financial incentives to eligible health care providers, such as general practitioners, practice nurses, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers, to encourage them to improve their services and engage in activities that benefit their patients and the broader community.
To be eligible for the Practice Incentives Program, a general practice must:
- Be accredited by the Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL) or the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP); and
- Have a minimum of one full-time equivalent (FTE) general practitioner; and
- Provide services to a minimum of 100 patients per week; and
- Be registered with Medicare Australia and have an active provider number; and
- Be located in a designated rural or remote area, as defined by the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Area (RA) classification; and
- Must meet certain additional criteria, such as providing certain services to their patients, participating in quality improvement activities, and meeting certain targets for the provision of services.
What are the individual incentives available under the Practice Incentives Program?
The Practice Incentives Program offers a range of individual incentives, which are designed to support health care providers in delivering high-quality primary health care services to their patients. These incentives include:
- The General Practice Immunisation Incentive (GPII) which provides financial incentives to encourage health care providers to increase the uptake of immunisations among their patients.
- The General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) which provides additional payments to practices located in rural or remote areas to help offset the higher costs of providing services in these areas.
- The Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP) which provides additional funding to practices that employ a registered nurse to assist with patient care.
- The Quality Prescribing Incentive (QPI) which provides financial incentives to practices that promote the safe and effective use of medications
- The eHealth Incentive (ePIP) which provides financial incentives to practices that use certain eHealth technologies, such as electronic health records and telehealth services.
- The After Hours Primary Care Service Incentive which provides financial support to health care providers who offer after-hours primary care services to their patients.
- The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Incentive which provides financial incentives to health care providers who are working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services.
- The Chronic Disease Management Incentive which provides financial incentives to practices that support the management of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease
- The Enhanced Primary Care Incentive which provides payments to practices that provide enhanced primary care services to patients with chronic and complex conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.
- Diabetes Incentive which provides additional funding for medical practitioners who provide care and support to patients with diabetes, including regular check-ups and diabetes education.
How are the Practice Incentives Program payments made?
Under the PIP, practices receive an annual payment and access to additional resources that can help them provide better care. Practices are also eligible for additional payments if they meet certain clinical targets.
How can I apply for the Practice Incentives Program?
To apply for the PIP, medical practices must first complete an online registration process. This involves providing information about the practice, including its location, the number of patients enrolled in the practice, and the type of services provided.
Once the registration is complete, the practice will receive a confirmation email and will be able to access the online application form. The application form will ask for further information about the practice and its services, as well as the criteria and targets the practice plans to meet.
How do I manage my PIP application?
Once a medical practice has submitted its PIP application, it will receive a confirmation email and will be able to access its online account. This account will allow the practice to track its progress in meeting the program's criteria and targets, and to submit any required documents or information.
What is the Practice Incentives Program eHealth Incentive (ePIP)?
The Practice Incentives Program eHealth Incentive (ePIP) is an incentive available under the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) that rewards practices for using eHealth services to improve the quality and safety of their care. This may include using electronic prescribing, electronic health records, or other digital tools to manage and coordinate patient care.
How is the PIP relevant to legal contracts for a medical practice?
In our experience there are medical practices that incorporate PIP payments or a per cartage of PIP payments into contracts with service providers or employees, there are different ways that practices do this, and we can provide legal advice or draft agreements for your medical practice if you are unsure how to do this.