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Call for GPs to inform key submission


Morgan Liotta


28/11/2023 1:41:17 PM

An upcoming review brings opportunity to influence healthcare reform and the future of primary care – and the RACGP wants member input.

Completing online survey
GPs’ feedback and insights will help shape a significant review to strengthen the future of the primary health system, the RACGP says.

The RACGP is seeking member feedback on how current incentive programs impact them, their practice and patients, to help inform its submission to the Department of Health and Aged Care’s (DoH) upcoming Effectiveness Review of General Practice Incentives.
 
On 4 December, the RACGP is hosting a Q&A webinar to provide members the opportunity to have their say on planned reforms of the primary healthcare system – with these insights used to guide the college’s written submission to the DoH.
 
The DoH is undertaking of the Review of General Practice Incentives across Australia to assess the effectiveness and impact of the existing incentives program and identify solutions to enhance the current general practice incentives as a funding model in the future. As part of a broader effort to reform primary care funding arrangements, this includes consideration of the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and Workforce Incentive Program (WIP).
 
At its webinar, the RACGP will provide an overview of the DoH’s review as well as current and incoming incentives, and discuss the issues and opportunities the college has identified to date and future chances to engage in the review.
 
Earlier this year, the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce report made recommendations for primary care reform, including the Federal Government supporting healthcare providers in the management of complex chronic disease through blended funding models, integrating incentive payments with fee-for-service, and funding quality bundles of care.
 
The Government has since committed to the revamp of current general practice incentives programs to better support quality, multidisciplinary, patient-centred primary care.
 
The May Federal Budget revealed that $60.2 million would be allocated to extend PIP–Quality Improvement payments until 30 June 2024, along with a review of all general practice incentive programs. The RACGP anticipated providing feedback on these programs, stating ‘it is critical that incentives are targeted towards improving patient care with their usual GP, and do not overburden general practices with administrative burdens that take GPs away from patient-facing activities’.
 
Also addressing recommendations from the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce report, the 2023–24 Budget included $445.1 million over five years to increase the WIP–Practice Stream, increasing the maximum payment per practice to $130,000 and an annual indexation. This measure kicked in last month.
 
The DoH states that the General Practice Incentives Review will draw on ‘qualitative and quantitative evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of general practice incentives and will be an input into future policy considerations’, with the focus of the review comprising four domains:
 

  • Impact: Exploring the extent to which incentives have achieved policy objectives, such as progress towards the Primary Health Care 10-Year Plan
  • Effectiveness: Examining the effectiveness of each incentive as a funding mechanism for influencing systemic reform across the primary healthcare sector
  • Efficiency: Considering the efficiency of incentive and payment stream mechanisms in achieving outcomes, including consideration of administrative processes and eligibility
  • Sustainability: Assessing the ongoing sustainability of incentive payments into the future, including consideration of ongoing investment and long-term outcomes
 
The RACGP’s Q&A webinar, ‘General Practice Incentives – Have your say’ will take place on Monday 4 December 6.30 – 7.30 pm (AEDT). Members can register online.
 
Dr Michael Wright, Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Funding and Health System Reform, will facilitate the event, with an expert panel including:
 
  • Professor Mark Morgan, Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care
  • Dr Rob Hosking, Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Practice Technology and Management
  • Dr Tim Senior, Medical Advisor for RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, and co-founder and Chair of RACGP Specific Interests Poverty and Health
 
The Effectiveness Review of General Practice Incentives survey is open until 11:59 pm (AEDT) Friday 22 December and can be accessed via the DoH website.
 
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