Department of Health tackles concern over PIP QI requirements

Doug Hendrie

9/10/2019 2:41:48 PM

The DoH has issued a clarification regarding GP concerns over a perceived requirement for practices to develop their own data-extraction software.

Doctor examining data
De-identified data will flow to PHNs through the PIP QI – but some issues need to be ironed out.

The issue centres on a Department of Health (DoH) exemption form for practices that do not want to send the de-identified data required under the new Practice Incentive Program Quality Improvement (PIP QI) program.
The reason for the exemption form is understood to be the challenge of making currently available data-extraction tools fine-grained enough to be able to pull out only the required 10 quality measures – such as the proportion of patients who smoke – without extracting extra data.
But the DoH exemption form has a requirement that practices are ‘fully responsible’ for developing their own data-extraction tools in order to gain access to the Government program.
In a move welcomed by the RACGP, the DoH statement recognises that practices will generally not be developing their own in-house software.
‘It is acknowledged that in most cases, practices seeking exemptions will not be developing their own alternative solution in-house for supplying the PIP QI data,’ the statement, seen by newsGP, states.

‘Rather, they will be relying on software companies to work with the Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to develop alternative solutions.
‘The [DoH] is actively working with the software industry and PHNs to support the development of such solutions.
‘Where a practice is relying on these alternative solutions being developed, the expectation is that practices will need to pay the relevant licence fee, if there is one, for use of the alternative solution when it is developed.’
Dr Michael Wright, Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Funding and Health System Reform (REC–FHSR), welcomes the clarification. 
‘The RACGP provided feedback to the DoH that the initial wording suggested practices would be responsible for the costs of developing software solutions,’ he told newsGP

‘This was not correct and it is not reasonable for practices to be left with software development costs for a system being developed to meet the needs of the health department.
‘The clarification from the DoH provides some reassurance, and we welcome negotiations between clinical software providers and PHNs to develop data solutions which comply with PIP QI data governance framework, and which integrate with existing systems.
‘This is crucial so that the PIP QI creates a usable data-sharing framework without unwarranted and unnecessary financial or administrative burdens for practices.’
Dr Rob Hosking, Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Practice Technology and Management (REC–PTM) previously told newsGP that the current quantity of data going to PHNs is ‘more than required’.
The rollout of the $200 million primary care incentive program has been at times rocky, with the twice-delayed program drawing questions around data governance and eligibility.
The DoH released a factsheet in August designed to clear up earlier confusion regarding specific requirements.
The PIP QI incentive is worth up to $50,000 per year for participating practices.

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Dr Carole Maree Rayner   10/10/2019 7:14:24 AM

So where does that leave us at this point ?