The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) is aimed at supporting general practice activities that encourage continuing improvements, quality care, enhanced capacity and improved access and health outcomes for patients. Each PIP incentive falls under a payment stream with 3 different types of payments.
Service incentive payments (SIPs) are made to GPs to recognise and encourage them to provide specified services to individual patients.
The Aged Care Access Incentive is a service incentive payment, paid to the GP’s nominated account.
Rural loading payments are made to practices whose main practice location is outside a capital city or other major metropolitan centre.
Over recent times the PIP has included in excess of a dozen different incentives, and changes from time to time. Practices can apply for as many for which they are eligible.
In general, the PIP payments are made to the practice, not the individual practitioner (GP or GP registrar). According to the NTCER cl 13 “The registrar is not automatically entitled to receive any portion of PIP with the exception of anaesthetic PIP and obstetric PIP. The exact distribution of these payments should be mutually agreed (and noted in the employment agreement), and not disadvantage either the registrar or the employer.”
While PIPs are made to the whole practice, the Service Incentive Payments (SIPs) are made to the individual provider of the service, who is working with a practice that is enrolled in the PIP.
SIPs are typically associated with services, such as After Hours Incentive, Aged Care Access Incentive, and an eHealth Incentive. Please check the MBS website for the latest information on which service quality as PIPs and SIPs payments.
In terms of receiving the payment, SIPs and PIPs are normally paid quarterly via Services Australia and, as per NTCER cl. 13, PIPs are “added to a registrar’s gross billings or receipts”.