Workforce Incentive Program: What will the new year bring?

Morgan Liotta

19/12/2019 4:24:58 PM

newsGP summarises the changes to government workforce incentives coming into effect in 2020.

Calendar flipping to 2020
Changes are in store for 2020.

The Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) provides targeted financial incentives to encourage medical practitioners to deliver eligible primary healthcare services in regional, rural and remote areas, in addition to supporting general practices to engage the services of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers, nurses and eligible allied health professionals.
From early 2020, the WIP will replace current payment incentive programs:

  • 1 January 2020 – the General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) will transition to the WIP Doctor Stream
  • 1 February 2020 – general practices participating in the Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP) will transition to the WIP Practice Stream
The Department of Health (DoH) has said these dates align with existing payment quarters to ensure a smooth transition.
An up-to-date rural classification system – the Modified Monash Model (MMM) 2019 – will be used to ensure metropolitan areas will no longer be able to access incentives intended for rural and remote Australian areas.
Practices in all locations that are participating in the PNIP will remain eligible for WIP Practice Stream incentive payments. However, practices in MMM 3–7 will be eligible for an additional rural loading payment. Those participating in GPRIP will be transitioned to the WIP Doctor Stream, although eligibility and payment levels may change if MMM 2019 reclassifies the location where services are provided.
Key changes to be introduced with the WIP Doctor Stream:
  • The program will be updating to MMM 2019, using 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census data and geographical information, from MMM 2015 (which used 2011 ABS census data)
  • Eligibility and payments for GPRIP are currently based on MMM, so will remain unchanged
Key changes to be introduced with the WIP Practice Stream:
  • The MMM 2019 will replace the Australian Standard Geographical Classification-Remoteness Area (ASGC-RA) for determining eligibility for a rural loading. Practices that lost the rural bulk-billing incentive when they were reclassified from ASGC-RA will also have their PNIP payments affected by this change. However, some practices may qualify for rural loading for the first time
  • The maximum incentive for WIP Practice Stream is capped at $125,000 or at 5000 Standardised Whole Patient Equivalent (SWPE) – the same as under the PNIP, so there is no increase in support for engaging nurses or other allied health professionals
  • Practices in all locations across Australia will be able to engage allied health professionals, not just in district of workforce shortage areas
  • The accreditation assistance payment of $5000 for practices obtaining accreditation for the first time will no longer be paid 
The WIP Practice Stream has also been broadened to include non-dispensing pharmacists – a move supported by the RACGP to help build the general practice team.
General practices and individual medical practitioners currently participating in the GPRIP and PNIP will automatically transition to the WIP so no action is needed, but the DoH and the RACGP recommend practices familiarise themselves with the changes to payments and available incentives.
The DoH has a WIP FAQ page and a page for practices to compare MMM 2015 and 2019 classification.
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bulk billing Modified Monash Model Workforce Incentive Program

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Diver Dan   20/12/2019 9:30:10 AM

We will lose our access to 10991 in outer metro southern Adelaide. Tens of millions of dollars will be saved by the government but it’s interesting that the rural incentives have not been increased with that saved money.

Dr Anna Margaret Thomas-Mergler   20/12/2019 12:45:04 PM

We are RA4/ MMM6 : we are on an island and there is no transport to /from mainland after hours, unless medevac by chopper or VMR.

For some reason the PIP program still uses the archaic RAMA coding and we are coded RAMA 1 for the PIPs, despite the fact that we are MMM6!!
we therefore do not get any rural incentives for the PIPs is this so? Why are government departments using two different geographical classifications for the PNIP/WIP and the PIPS? and what can i do about it?

Dr Kannangara Koralalag Dinali Sagarika Kannangara   10/08/2020 8:27:32 PM

am i eligible for gp rural incentive programe , i have not received any , what should i do