The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) is administered by Services Australia on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health. The PIP encourages general practices Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHOs) to provide quality care, enhance capacity while improving access and health outcomes for patients.
One of these criteria is to be accredited, or registered for accreditation, against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for general practices. AGPAL is an approved accrediting agency, as indicated by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.
PIP – Practice Incentives Program
The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) encourages general practices to continue providing quality care, enhance capacity, and improve access and health outcomes for patients. PIP is administered by Services Australian on behalf of the Department of Health.
PIP payments are in addition to other revenue, such as Medicare and patient payments, made by a general practice, AMS or ACCHO.
Services Australia indicates those looking to attain the PIP, must read the relevant guidelines for the program to make sure your practice meets all of the eligibility requirements.
Your practice must also:
- be a general practice as defined by the RACGP
- be an open practice as defined by the PIP
- be accredited, or registered for accreditation, against the RACGP Standards for general practices
- maintain at least $10 million in public liability insurance cover
- have professional indemnity insurance cover for all general practitioners and nurse practitioners.
It is important to stay up to date with any PIP changes and updates. We recommend reading Services Australia’s quarterly ‘Incentives News Update’ newsletter.
PIP individual incentives
Once eligibility requirements have been met, there are a number of incentives available. These include:
- After Hours Incentives – supports general practices to provide their patients with appropriate access to after hours care
- eHealth Incentive – encourages general practices to keep up to date with digital health and adopt new health technology
- Indigenous Health Incentive – supports practices and Indigenous health services to provide better health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
- Quality Improvement Incentive – for practices that participate in quality improvement activities to improve patient outcomes and deliver best practice care. Take a look at our news article on the new PIP QI Incentive Guidance
- General Practitioner Aged Care Access – encourages GPs to provide increased and continuing services in Australian Government funded residential aged care facilities, and
- Teaching Payment – encourages practices to provide teaching sessions to undergraduate and graduate medical students.
Rural and Remote
A majority of PIP payments are made to the physical practice rather than an individual, as the payments offer incentives in relation to parts of a the business that make up quality care. Payments are made quarterly in February, May, August and November by Services Australia via electronic funds transfer.
Services Australia calculates entitlements for payments automatically, based on information received from the practice. It is vital to let Services Australia know of changes to your practice as soon as possible.
- PIP Quality Stream,
- PIP Capacity Stream and
- Rural support stream.
Within each of the streams is three types of payments, which include practice payments, service incentive payments and rural loading payments.
For a further breakdown of the incentives within each stream, visit Services Australia ‘Types of Payments’ webpage.