PIP payments for those affected by bushfire

Morgan Liotta

28/01/2020 2:40:09 PM

A number of measures have been implemented to support general practices and other healthcare services directly touched by bushfires.

Man looking at bushfire smoke
Many communities have been directly affected by bushfires.

In addition to the physical damage caused by the devastating fires, general practices, Aboriginal medical services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations may also be indirectly financially impacted.
A suite of temporary measures under the Department of Health’s (DoH’s) Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP)/Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) have been designed to make it easier for healthcare services adversely affected by the bushfires to recover and continue providing quality care to their communities.
Payments will proceed as usual for practices located within bushfire-affected regions that were compliant with requirements in the previous 1 August – 31 October 2019 PIP payment quarter and were unable to meet the requirements for the current payment quarter (1 November 2019 to 31 January 2020).
Practices participating in the PIP Quality Improvement (QI) Incentive
Primary Health Networks (PHNs) have been advised to inform the DoH if any of these practices have been unable to submit their PIP Eligible Data Set data as a result of the bushfires.
These practices will receive a PIP QI payment for the 1 November 2019 – 31 January 2020 quarter.
Practices participating in the PIP eHealth Incentive
If practices uploaded the required number of shared health summaries last quarter but were not able to meet the requirements for the current quarter, they will receive a PIP eHealth payment for the 1 November 2019 – 31 January 2020 quarter.
The DoH will consider an exemption request if a bushfire-affected practice directly paid under this arrangement is found to have not complied with the number of uploads required.
Practices participating in the PNIP/WIP
Practices not able to submit their quarterly confirmation statement for the 1 November 2019 – 31 January 2020 quarter who had previously submitted their November 2019 quarter will still be paid.
The hours used for the calculation of payment will be those recorded for the November 2019 quarter.
A majority of PIP payments will proceed automatically without a practice needing to perform any additional input, aside from making Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item claims, the DoH has confirmed. PIP incentives that are tied to MBS item claims will proceed as per normal.
The DoH also acknowledges that some of the processes practices undergo to ensure accreditation may have been impacted by the bushfires. This includes damage to practices resulting in them no longer possessing accreditation, or the accreditation process/renewal unable to proceed.
The DoH, together with the Department of Human Services and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, will consider accreditation issues experienced by bushfire-affected practices on a case-by-case basis.
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