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Practice Incentive Programs (PIP)

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The Practice Incentive Program (PIP), administered by Services Australia on behalf of the Department of Health, encourages general practices to provide quality care to improve access and health outcomes for patients.

How PIP works

To qualify for the Practice Incentives Program, general practices must be accredited or working towards accreditation as per the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ Standards for General Practices.

Payments are calculated based on practice size and patient demographics. All PIP payments (excluding teaching and procedural GP) are paid according to the Standardised Whole Patient Equivalent for the practice.

Practice incentive payments differ to Service Incentive Payments (SIP) as they are paid to the practice rather than an individual provider. Service Incentive Payments are paid in addition to the normal Medicare benefit for a specific item and require specific trigger MBS item numbers to be billed.

Requirements for the practice’s entitlements are different for each incentive. However, all PIP or SIPs payments occur each year in February, May, August and November


For general practice to be eligible for PIP, they must:

  • meet the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) definition of a general practice
  • meet the PIP definition of an open practice (where one or more registered medical practitioners provide face-to-face medical or health services to patients at a physical location)
  • maintain at least $10 million in public liability insurance cover for the main location and each additional practice location (legal liability is not public liability).
  • make sure all general practitioners and nurse practitioners have the required minimum of $10 million professional indemnity insurance cover · be accredited, or registered for accreditation, as a general practice against the RACGP Standards for general practices by an agency approved under the National General Practice Accreditation Scheme. Accreditation must cover the entire quarter the practice is applying in and be maintained thereafter. Practices must be registered for and achieve accreditation against the RACGP Standards within 12 months of joining the PIP Program.
  • Types of PIP Programs

    There are three types of payment streams under PIP that each incentive falls under:

    • PIP Quality stream
      • Indigenous Health Incentive
        This incentive supports practices and Indigenous health services to provide better health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.
      • Quality Improvement Incentive
        This incentive is a payment to general practices that participate in quality improvement activities to improve patient outcomes and deliver best practice care.  Provide your eligible data set to your local PHN via Polar or PEN and participate in continuous quality improvement activities in partnership with your PHN.
    • PIP Capacity stream
      • After Hours Incentive
        This incentive supports general practices to provide their patients with appropriate access to after hours care.
      • Aged Care Access Incentive
        This incentive encourages GPs to provide increased and continuing services in Australian Government funded residential aged care facilities.
      • eHealth Incentive
        This incentive encourages general practices to keep up to date with digital health and adopt new health technology eg: My Health Record
      • Teaching Payment
        This payment encourages practices to provide teaching sessions to undergraduate and graduate medical students preparing to enter the Australian medical profession.
      • COVID-19 Vaccine General Practice Incentive
        Payment to support general practices participating in Australia’s national COVID-19 vaccine roll out to provide 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to their patients
    • PIP Rural support stream
      • Procedural GP Payment
        This incentive encourages GPs in rural and remote areas to maintain local access to surgical, anaesthetic and obstetric services.
      • Rural loading Incentive
        This incentive recognizes the difficulties of providing care, often with little professional support, in rural and remote areas.

Guidelines for Individual Incentives

While there are overall criteria for PIP eligibility, there are also requirements for each individual incentive. General Practice must understand these guidelines before applying to ensure they are meeting the requirements. Guidelines

Incentive Programs education for health professionals

Service Australia has eLearning programs, simulations and other resources to support general practice staff in understanding how the Incentive Programs work.

eLearning programs for Practice Incentive Programs

Simulations - learn how to:

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