PIP: Good for Your Practice, if You Can Calculate

In an effort to encourage innovation and improve services among eligible health providers, the Australian government launched the Practice Incentive Program or PIP back in 1998. As of January 2014, medical practices can apply for 10 individual incentives under the PIP. Those applying for the program consequently need to deal with several paperwork and bookkeeping requirements.

For example, a medical practice in Sydney can qualify for an Indigenous Health Incentive through one of four ways, which in turn requires four different calculations. Medical accountants in Sydney should keep in mind the specific incentive that the practice will seek, for tax reasons.

The practice can target a sign-on payment (i.e. single payment for activities intended to care for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander patients) which grants $1,000 or a patient registration payment (i.e. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander patients must be registered in the practice’s disease management program) for a $250 grant per calendar year.

Alternatively, practices can aim for an outcomes payment that comes in two tiers, $100 and $150 per calendar year. The amount the practice will be eligible for depends on the quality of long-term care they’re willing to provide for indigenous patients.

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