Update: Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and Workforce Incentive Program (WIP)—Response to COVID-19 to support general practice

30 Apr 2020

The Practice Incentive Program Advisory Group (PIPAG) has issued a communique covering several temporary measures under the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) that have been implemented by the Department of Health and Services Australia to support practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The AMA has assisted in the development of these measures. 

For practices participating in the PIP Electronic Health (eHealth) Incentive, pre-payment compliance arrangements will cease during this interim period and payments will be made to participating practices. Compliance activities will resume once there is transition to the recovery phase of the pandemic. There is an expectation that practices will have to demonstrate adherence to the requirements of the e-PIP incentive. Arrangements for the 1 May to 31 July quarter will also continue to be monitored and advice provided as the COVID-19 response evolves.  

The PIP Teaching Payment has been temporarily amended for the duration of the COVID-19 response period to assist practices to continue to perform the valuable work of training Australia’s future health workforce, while also ensuring the safety of patients, the practice and students. The amendments include:  

  • a temporary removal of the requirement for practices to obtain a student signature before lodging a PIP Teaching Payment claim (practices must instead maintain records of teaching and names of students for audit purposes);  
  • practices may use remote arrangements (such as telephone and video-conferencing) to continue to provide training that involves medical students in patient care; and  
  • practices may opt to perform 3 x 1-hour sessions across different days to qualify for the 3 hour session time requirement. Practices must not make a claim until the full 3-hour session is completed, and the claim can be made by using the last date training took place. To avoid overpayment, practices must not record the individual dates that the training took place on the claim form. Practices must maintain records of each training session for audit purposes.  

Other temporary measures to support general practices during COVID-19 were shared in GP Network News previously, and can be found here 

The updated PIPAG Communique is attached to this article.