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New payment formula rewards our GPs' good practice.

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Media Release

The Hon Dr Michael Wooldridge

Minister for Health and Aged Care


3 June 1999




General practices are set to benefit from a much-anticipated new payment formula which recognises high quali ty care.


Under the new Practice Incentives Program (PIP) payment formula announced by the Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, Dr Michael Wooldridge, general practices providing high quality care will be rewarded by the Government with a new payment formula starting in August 1999.


“For the first time, GPs will be directly rewarded for fundamental parts of general practice that are important to providing quality care, but which are not covered by fee-for-service arrangements,” Dr Wooldridge said.


Payments will be made through the PIP, and target five aspects of general practice as agreed with the profession. These are: information management / information technology; after hours care; rural and remote practice; teaching of medical students, and targeted incentives.


“The new payments have come about as a result of our strong partnership with the medical profession,” Dr Wooldridge said.


“In particular, the Government has worked closely with the General Practice Financing Group to develop the new payment formula.”


The General Practice Financing Group is a negotiating body comprising the Australian Medical Association, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Rural Doctors’ Association of Australia, Australian Divisions of General Practice and the Government.


The changes complete the Government’s promise to reform practice payments, formerly paid through the Better Practice Program (BPP). The BPP was replaced by the PIP last year, incorporating reforms to eligibility for the payments. The old BPP payment formula, which targeted patient continuity, will no longer be used.


Since the PIP was introduced, the number of practices receiving payments has risen by 50 per cent. Over 60 per cent of general practices were participating in the PIP as at early May 1999.


All general practices already participating in the PIP will be sent a new information package in the first week of June. The information package includes details of the new payment formula, and has instructions on what practices need to do to receive their full entitlements.


Any GPs interested in receiving PIP payments, or who have any questions about the Program, should call the PIP enquiry line on 1800 222 032.



Media Contact:

Adam Connolly, Office of Hon Dr Michael Wooldridge, 02 6277 7220

Kate Robinson, Department of Health and Aged Care, 02 6289 5213





The PIP payments formula


*  There are five broad elements to the new payment formula, some with several tiers of payment.


*  Practices may qualify for any or all payments, and tiers and all payments are cumulative.


*  The following table summarises how the new formula works.






*  GPs may also receive funding for immunisation activity and outcomes though the General Practice Immunisation Incentives. This is calculated using a different formula and paid separately.


*  All practices will receive a minimum payment for providing data to the Commonwealth on the application form, and for ensuring patients have access to 24-hour care, as these are required to enter the PIP.


*  For 1999-2000 only, payments made for information management/information technology (IM/IT) will be increased to provide a greater incentive for practices to focus on their IM/IT capabilities.


*  The PIP payments will be made quarterly.

The application process


*  Practices already, receiving PIP payments will continue to do so. However, they must supply some information to the HIC to ensure their payments are correct.


*  New applicants must fill out the application form enclosed in the PIP information package. A form for this purpose will be sent to all participating practices along with a new information package in the first week of June.


*  Under the current transition arrangements, practices can access the Program by demonstrating that they meet the eligibility criteria, through the information they provide on the application form.


*  Practices that are undergoing accreditation benefit from streamlined access to the PIP, and do not have to provide as much information when applying.


*  Access to the PIP will eventually be via accreditation only. However, practices will receive ample notice of the change.  The date by which all practices must be accredited to continue to receive PIP payments will be announced by the end of this year.



cm  1999-06-04  12:45