Draconian PIP requirements another hit to general practice

15 Sep 2016

AMA Vice President, Dr Tony Bartone, said this week that tough new changes to the Practice Incentive Program (PIP) Digital Health Incentive requirements could leave many individual general practices more than $20,000 worse off.

In May this year, the Government introduced a PIP eligibility requirement that practices must upload Shared Health Summaries (SHS) for at least 0.5 per cent of their patients each quarter. Dr Bartone, a Melbourne GP, said the AMA has made repeated representations since June to Health Minister Sussan Ley about how harmful the PIP changes will be to GPs who are already burdened by the Medicare rebate freeze.

“The PIP Digital Health Incentive has now been in place for a full quarter and the AMA has been advised that 1500 general practices have failed to meet their SHS upload target, and a further 69 practices have formally withdrawn from participation in the Incentive,” Dr Bartone said.

“This means that close to one-third of previously eligible general practices now face losing significant financial support in an already testing environment of the Medicare rebate freeze and other funding cuts. The AMA is urging the Minister to do the right thing by hardworking GPs and introduce a moratorium on the SHS upload target,” Dr Bartone said.

He added that, with adequate time, education, and support, many of the affected 1500 general practices may well begin to genuinely engage with the MyHealth Record, but penalising them with draconian eligibility requirements at this critical point will have the opposite effect of undermining support for e-health initiatives within general practice.

Full media release