Incentives News Update-May2018

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May 2018

Incentives News Update

Changes to the new PIP Quality Improvement Incentive

The new PIP Quality Improvement (QI) Incentive which was to start on 1 May 2018 will now start on 1 May 2019.

General practices were recently informed of changes to the implementation date of the PIP QI Incentive. The additional time will give general practices enough time to prepare.

The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) supports general practice activities that encourage improvements in quality care, enhance capacity and improve access and health outcomes for patients. The new QI Incentive will continue to build on this important work, further strengthening quality improvement in primary health care.

The revised time frame will mean the five incentives, which were scheduled to cease on 1 May 2018, will continue through to 30 April 2019.

These are the:

Asthma Incentive

Quality Prescribing Incentive

Cervical Screening Incentive

Diabetes Incentive, and

General Practitioner Aged Care Access Incentive.

The six PIP incentives that won’t change when the QI Incentive is implemented are the:

eHealth Incentive

After Hours Incentive

Rural Loading Incentive

Teaching Payment

Indigenous Health Incentive, and

Procedural General Practitioner Payment.

Submitting forms manually

To help us process your forms quickly, please make sure you send them to us correctly.

If you’re submitting forms for the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) or Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP) by fax or mail you can use this checklist to make sure you’ve remembered everything we need.

Are you using the latest version of the form?

You can go to or to download current versions of forms.

Are your documents in the correct order?

Check that the documents are positioned the right way up and are in sequential order. We may not process forms faxed out of sequence.

Are your documents only related to PIP and PNIP?

Only send us forms for PIP or PNIP. If you have forms to submit for other programs, you must send them separately using the correct fax numbers for those programs.

Save time—become a PIP consenting practice

Is your practice participating in both the PIP and the PNIP? Rather than having to update your practice details in both programs, you can apply to be a PIP consenting practice and only need to make updates in one place.

This means we’ll use most of the details you provided to us for PIP for the PNIP as well. Instead of having a different practice ID number for both practices, you’ll use the same practice ID. You save time and we’re kept up to date.

Email us at if you would like to link your PIP and PNIP profiles.


The new target age range for Cervical Screening tests related to MBS item numbers 2497–2509 and 2598–2616 is 24 years and 9 months to 74 years inclusive. More information about the Cervical Screening Incentive is available at

If you have questions about a PIP eHealth compliance letter you’ve received from the Department of Health, email

Remember to quote the reference number on the top of the letter.

News for health professionals online

Did you know you can keep up to date with News for health professionals online? Subscribe to get news highlights emailed to you every month. You can opt out at any time.

Go to:

Find out more

Go online to and

Email or

Call 1800 222 032* (8.30 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday, Australian Central Standard Time)

*Call charges apply from mobile and pay phones only.

Printing the online guidelines

Did you know it’s easy to print any of the incentive programs’ guidelines published on

Some of the guidelines still appear as Word documents. To print these, open the document and print in the usual way. Guidelines published on our website give you the option to ‘customise and print’. This means you can choose whether you want to print the entire guideline or just an extract from it.

Using the customise and print option

  1. On the right hand side of your screen, below the title of the page, you’ll see a little printer icon with Customise and print beside it.

1.Select this and it will bring up a Customise and print this page view so you can pick which parts of the document you want to print.

2.Make your selection and then select print in your browser or use the shortcut Ctrl+P. You can see what you’ve selected to print in the preview pane on your screen.

3.To return to the full version of the webpage select the Return to Practice Incentives Program full version option on the top right of your screen.

Don’t Forget

While it’s useful to have a printed version of the guidelines make sure you check our website regularly so you’re up to date with any changes.

Australian Immunisation Register

You can help us keep the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) up to date.

If you vaccinate, update!

Your patients may need to have proof of vaccination for employment and enrolment in child care or school. You can record vaccines on the AIR for people of all ages. Adult vaccines include Zostavax, pneumococcal and private vaccines for flu and travel.

Patients can see their Immunisation History Statement by going to their Medicare Online account through myGov.

New! Print your patient’s Immunisation History Statement

From July 2018, you will be able to print a patient’s Immunisation History Statement directly from the AIR site in your own office.

You’ll need access to the AIR to record or view your patient’s immunisation information. You can request access on our website. For more information about the AIR and to request access, go to

Monitoring matters for the eHealth Incentive

If you’re participating in the PIP eHealth Incentive, you need to monitor your upload of Shared Health Summaries (SHS) every quarter.

You can check your quarterly SHS upload target on your last payment advice or through Health Professional Online Services (HPOS). You’ll need to meet your minimum upload target for each quarter.

If in doubt, opt out!

If you’re not going to meet your target, opt out of that payment quarter in HPOS. Make sure you do this by the point in time date before the payment month.

Opting out of the eHealth Incentive isn’t the same as withdrawing.

If you opt out of a payment quarter you’ll still be registered for the eHealth Incentive. You won’t get a payment for the quarter you opted out of. You’ll be automatically opted back in for the next payment quarter.

If you decide to withdraw from the eHealth Incentive, it means you’re no longer registered to participate in the incentive. You won’t get any more payments unless you reapply for the eHealth Incentive.

For more information go to

A chat with Abbie Hunt National Practice Incentive Manager

We publish the INU to help you get the most out of the incentive programs, so it was great to be able to talk to a health professional who works with these programs on a daily basis.

Abbie Hunt is the National Practice Incentive Manager for Sonic Clinical Services. She took some time out of her busy schedule to give us some insights into how they work with the incentive programs.

Abbie started her career in general practice while she was at university.

Navigating the corporatisation of primary healthcare, she moved from patient-facing services into managerial roles. Twenty-three years later, in a role assisting 186 practices, Abbie is still enjoying the work.

‘There’s been a constant evolution in the job,’ she said. ‘I’ve got a 10 year old and a 6 year old and your priorities change a bit as you have your family.

‘One of the challenges of the role is to make sure we have an effective relationship with all the practice managers.

‘I’ve probably visited about half the practices and I attend the practice managers’ meetings. We do education sessions and also have face-to-face meetings focusing on particular areas like the Indigenous Health Incentive.’

Abbie said the company, [Sonic Clinical Services], wanted practice managers to be focused on patients and doctors rather than on administration, so a big part of her job was to provide them with the information they needed to do their jobs.

Abbie said part of the success of the incentive programs was that it gave practices the chance to manage health holistically.

‘For example, the East Fremantle Medical Centre in Western Australia has a group of doctors that are highly engaged with the [incentive] programs,’ she said.

‘It’s led by a doctor who’s passionate about general practice and has built it up over 15 years. The doctors there work together to meet practice incentive thresholds.

‘It has regular patients who’ve made it their family practice, so you’re looking after their health holistically—managing health is not just reactive.’

Part of Abbie’s job involves talking to gatherings of practice managers and helping them to understand what they need to do for the incentive programs. In particular, she said finding out about changes early was important so that she could implement any changes across all the practices she manages.

‘We’re trying to improve the quality of the information received by our PIP team. For example, some practice managers will send in forms without PIP IDs.

‘We can pre-fill some PDFs and put a lot of effort into creating master templates.

‘If there was something like an electronic noticeboard that showed us program changes earlier, that would really help us.’

Abbie said her team saw the incentive programs as having an annual cycle that revolves around the [incentive] quarters.

‘Once we’ve dealt with the payment cycle we move into the accreditation role and then the completion of the quarterly confirmation statements.

‘The beginning of the year is very busy with new GP registrars commencing and the IHI registrations.’

Abbie said they tried to do everything through HPOS and much preferred to work electronically.

‘We find it very easy to use,’ she said. ‘The HPOS guys have done a good job and we can access a lot more information than we could manually.

‘The only reason we’ll do something manually is if there’s an error in HPOS or if there’s a time saving benefit for us. For example with the change of ownership we can lodge the form online but still have to provide hard-copy documents so that’s why we don’t do it online.’

Abbie said the big advantage of lodging electronically through HPOS was that a practice could lodge information on the actual day the quarter ends, rather than having to provide manual documents a week before. This ensured the practice information was as up to date as possible for the next payment cycle.

Abbie had a few tips to pass on to INU readers.

To make sure they’re using the current form …

‘We go directly to the website and download the form that day.’

To comply with the incentives guidelines …

‘I think it’s quite easy to be proactive rather than reactive with the PIP and PNIP. There are specific timeframes so you can be proactive about completing paperwork and take a lot of the risk out of compliance.’


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