Changes to PIP eHealth initiative
Following stakeholder consultation, the Department of Health has advised the new eligibility criteria for the Practice Incentives Programme (PIP) eHealth Incentive. The changes aim to encourage GP uptake and to increase the meaningful use of the My Health Record system.
Despite advice from the AMA and other members of the PIP Advisory Group that the My Health Record is not yet fit for purpose, the Government has decided to link the incentive to use of the My Health Record. From 1 May, general practices will be required to upload a Shared Health Summary (SHS) to the My Health Record system for 0.5% of the practice’s standardised whole patient equivalent (SWPE) to be eligible for their payment. This contribution equates to about five shared health summaries per full-time equivalent GP per quarter.
Practices will be advised at the start of a quarter of the SWPE count. They will need to keep a tally of shared health summaries uploaded to be certain of meeting their target.
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To assist general practices to meet the new requirements, there will be online training available nationally from February and on demand face to face training from March/April. PIP participating general practices will be advised of the changes to the eligibility criteria for the ePIP through regular communication channels such as the PIP newsletter, websites and through Primary Health Networks.
Further consultation with the PIP Advisory Group and the broader general practice community will be undertaken in the near future regarding a tiered performance-based incentive arrangement, targeted for possible introduction in the August 2016 quarter. Under this approach, incentive payments would be linked to levels of use, such as numbers of SHSs uploaded.
Following AMA advice, the Department is considering transitioning existing PIP eHealth recipients to the new PIP eHealth arrangements as an alternative to requiring re-registration. Further advice on this matter will be provided to the PIP Advisory Group in February.
During consultations with the Department, the AMA, along with other stakeholders on the PIP Advisory Group, have repeatedly advised that the introduction of an MBS item and Service Incentive Payment for creating, uploading and updating a SHS would drive greater usage of the My Health Record. This view will be considered as part of the MBS Review.
This article was first published on GP Network News.