Quality Improvement Incentive to begin in August

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  24 March 2019  NWMPHN   

The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) supports general practice activities that encourage continuing improvements, quality care, enhancing capacity and improving access and health outcomes for patients.

The number and type of incentives available within PIP will change from 1 August 2019 when five of the existing incentives will cease and a new incentive, the PIP Quality Improvement (QI) Incentive, will commence.

With an implementation date for the QI PIP of 1 August 2019, the following five Incentives will continue through to 31 July 2019 and then cease:

  • Asthma Incentive
  • Quality Prescribing Incentive
  • Cervical Screening Incentive
  • Diabetes Incentive
  • General Practitioner Aged Care Access Incentive.

The six PIP Incentives that will remain unchanged are:

  • eHealth Incentive
  • After Hours Incentive
  • Rural Loading Incentive
  • Teaching Payment
  • Indigenous Health Incentive
  • Procedural General Practitioner Payment

The QI Incentive aims to recognise and support those practices that commit to improving the care they provide to their patients. Participating practices will be supported to utilise the information they have about their own communities and their knowledge of the particular needs of their own patients to develop innovative strategies to drive improvement.

As well as demonstrating a commitment to quality improvement, practices will share a minimum set of aggregated data with their local Primary Health Network (PHN), such as the number of patients who are diabetic, the percent who smoke, the cardiovascular risk and weight profile. This information will be collated at the local level by the PHNs to assist in supporting improvement and understanding health needs. There is no requirement for individual patient data, and any measures from an individual practice will not be available to the Department of Health.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Australian Medical Association (AMA), the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), the Australian Association of Practice Managers (AAPM) and the National Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Organisations (NACCHO) are all working together as members of the Practice Incentives Program Advisory Group (PIPAG), along with the Department of Health to ensure that this initiative is focused on quality improvement and does not follow other countries in introducing a ‘pay for performance’ program with perverse incentives.

The Colleges, AMA, RDAA, AAPM and NACCHO are also working closely with the PHNs to ensure the program has strong governance of general practice data.

Further information on participation requirements will be made available from the Department of Health shortly.