What is the Workforce Incentive Program – Practice Stream?

IMPORTANT UPDATE: From July 2023, the maximum incentive amount is now  $130,000 per practice, per year before applying rural loading. The linkage of the Standardised Whole Patient Equivalent (SWPE) to the maximum incentive amount is now 4000. This means more practices will be able to access the maximum incentive cap. Services Australia will make the updates with the first increased payments to occur in August 2023.

What is it?

The ‘Practice Stream’ provides financial incentives to help general practices with the cost of engaging nurses, allied health professionals and/or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and health practitioners.

There is also a Workforce Incentive Program – Doctor Stream. If you’re a doctor wanting to know, please look here.

How does it work?

Both average weekly hours and health practitioners of the practice should be disclosed to Services Australia if the practice is part of the Practice Stream.

A quarterly statement drafted by Services Australia, which contains the total hours of service of the eligible health practitioners, will be passed on to the practice for their review. When the report has been corrected and submitted back, the practice will receive the incentive.

Am I eligible?

Eligible practices for the program are:

  • general practices
  • Aboriginal Medical Services
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

For this payment, the eligibility requirements for practices include:

  • Be a general practice defined by RACGP
  • Have an accreditation or registered for an accreditation as general practice
  • Have a full-time or part-time GP as an employee
  • Employ or work with an eligible health professiona
  • Be an Open Practice
  • Have at least $10 million in public liability insurance cover
  • Ensure all GPs and health professionals have the required professional indemnity insurance cover
  • eligibility for the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) – if a PIP consenting practice

These are the eligible health professionals under the Practice Stream:

  • nurse practitioners
  • registered nurses
  • enrolled nurses
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners
  • specified allied health professionals, including:
    • audiologists
    • chiropractors
    • diabetes educators
    • dietitians/nutritionists
    • exercise physiologists
    • occupational therapists
    • orthoptists
    • orthotists/prosthetists
    • osteopaths
    • pharmacists (non-dispensing role)
    • physiotherapists
    • podiatrists
    • psychologists
    • social workers
    • speech pathologists

Ineligible services

The following cannot be qualified:

  • after-hours services
  • any hours worked by health professionals where the practice already receives support to pay them. This includes:
    • time billed to Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) services (unless an exemption applies).
    • support received from other Australian Government or state/territory funding or private funding

How much can I get?

From July 2023, $130,000 per year is the highest incentive payment for Practice Stream, but the value which the practice gets is dependent on the following:

  • size of the practice, measured in Standardised Whole Patient Equivalent (SWPE)
  • hours worked by eligible health professionals at the practice
  • location of the practice.

In order to attain the highest incentive, the practice needs to have 4,000+ SWPE value and at least 50 hours and 40 minutes of weekly service by eligible health practitioners.

Please note that incentive amounts vary from different health practitioners.

How do I apply?

There are two ways to apply, and application submissions can be submitted at any time: 

Remember to include your supporting documents like proof of accreditation or registered for accreditation certificate, a Practice Incentives Practice (PIP) ownership details and declaration form (IP008), and other supporting documentation needed in the application form.

Note: The information presented above has been gathered from the Department of Health and Aged Care website and has been updated as of 2023-10-31.

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We Can Help You

Here at People Medical Consulting, we have a passion for guiding medical practitioners through their career pathways to Australia. We have extensive experience in assisting medical facilities in recruiting doctors from local and overseas who will best suit their requirements.

We provide Document Assistance for those requiring support for their PESCI with IME, ACRRM or RACGP, registration and all other mandatory AHPRA requirements, fellowship program related forms and letters, application for Medicare provider and prescriber numbers, application for 19AB or 19AA exemptions and preparation of employment documents.

If you’re looking for assistance, contact us at help@peoplemedical.com.au and we would be glad to help you.

Information from this blog has been taken directly from:

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