What is the Workforce Incentive Program – Practice Stream?

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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.

Date Updated: 2024-03-12

What is it?

The ‘Practice Stream’ provides financial incentives to help general practices with the cost of employing health professionals.

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

How does it work?

If the practice is part of the Practice Stream, both the average weekly hours and the health practitioners of the practice should be given to Services Australia.

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

Am I eligible?

General practices, Aboriginal Medical Services, and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services are eligible for the program.

Further 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
  • Engage at least one eligible health professional
  • 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
  • midwives
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners
  • allied health professionals
    • audiologists
    • chiropractors
    • diabetes educators
    • dietitians/nutritionists
    • exercise physiologists
    • occupational therapists
    • orthoptists
    • orthotists/prosthetists
    • osteopaths
    • paramedics
    • pharmacists (non-dispensing role)
    • physiotherapists
    • podiatrists
    • psychologists
    • social workers
    • speech pathologists

Engaging or employing a health professional

Practices have the freedom to decide on the type of health professionals they employ and flexibility of their hours or employment classification.

An example would be a GP working specified hours per week at the practice or a nurse providing services once a week.

What services are ineligible for the program?

Ineligible services include after-hours services and time billed to Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) services (unless an exemption applies).

If you also receive support from private, or Australian Government, or state/territory funding funding, then hours worked by eligible health professionals will not be accepted.

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:

  • Practice size
  • Practice location
  • Number of hours worked by eligible health professionals at 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:

You will need to send a completed application, including all supporting documents, at least 7 calendar days before the point-in-time date (see table below). Also, remember to retain a copy of the documents within practice files for a minimum of 6 years.

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

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 want to talk to someone about your pathway or practice management—book a consultation with us below, or if you need Recruitment or Document Assistance, contact us at help@peoplemedical.com.au or click the buttons below. We’d be glad to help you!

Information from this blog has been taken directly from:

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