PIP definitions

Some terms used in the Practice Incentives Program have specific meanings.

Accreditation is the independent recognition that a practice meets the requirements of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioner (RACGP) Standards for general practices.

After hours services is defined by the current RACGP Standard for general practices as a service that provides care outside the normal opening hours of a general practice. It doesn’t matter if that service deputises for other general practices, or if it provides the care within or outside of the clinic. After hours services aren’t eligible for the Practice Incentives Program (PIP). 

Amalgamation means 2 or more practices coming together into 1 common location and sharing access to all patient records belonging to each of the previously individual practices. The remaining original locations will close.

Applicant is the practice applying for the PIP as named on the PIP application. 

Approved applicant is an applicant approved by the delegate to be included in the program at an approved location.

Approved location is the practice site or sites where a delegate has granted approval to participate in the program.

Authorised contact person is a person the practice owner nominates to act on behalf of the practice in relation to the program. They’re responsible for:

  • getting all communications related to the program
  • advising us of any changes in participation, and
  • updating practice information including bank account details

We’ll consider all forms completed and information submitted by the authorised contact person to be authorised on behalf of the practice and the practice owner.

Only the owner of the practice can tell us of any changes to the authorised contact person, change in ownership, amalgamation, relocations or practice closures.

Closed practice is when all registered medical practitioners stop providing face to face medical or health services to patients at the main physical location registered in the PIP.

Delegate is a person authorised by us or the Department of Health (Health) to administer the program.

General practice is defined by the RACGP Standards for general practices as a practice providing patient-centred continuing, comprehensive, coordinated primary care to individuals, families and communities.

General practitioner is a general practitioner or non-specialist medical practitioner – other medical practitioner - who provides non-referred services but isn’t a GP. GPs include:

  • Fellows of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, and
  • vocationally registered general practitioners and medical practitioners undertaking approved training

HPOS is Health Professional Online Services. It’s an online system where practices can submit application details and correspond with us. Changes made to practice details are visible to the practice and most changes are effective immediately.

Local Area is defined by Health on a case by case basis according to factors such as physical distance, rurality and practice distribution.

The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) is a listing of the Medicare services subsidised by the Australian Government. The schedule is part of a wider Medicare Benefits Scheme that Health manage and we administer.

Medical deputising services are defined in the RACGP Standards for general practice as organisations which directly arrange for medical practitioners to provide after hours medical services to patients of practice principals during the absence of, and at the request of, the practice principals. Medical deputising services aren’t eligible for the PIP. 

Medicare provider number is a number given to a general practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide an easy way to identify where a medical service is provided.

Normal business hours are the advertised opening business hours of the general practice.

Nurse practitioner is someone who’s endorsed as a nurse practitioner by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Go to the NMBA website for registration requirements for nurse practitioners.

Open practice is when 1 or more registered medical practitioners provide face to face medical or health services to patients at the main physical location. That location must be the practice location registered or used for the PIP. Practices can apply in writing for an exemption if exceptional circumstances, such as natural disasters, cause the practice to close for a period of time.

Point in time is the last day of the month before the next PIP payment quarter.

Practice is an approved medical practice taking part in the PIP. It may include patient records and access to a physical location.

Practice branch is an additional practice location.

Practice location is any location where a general practitioner or nurse practitioner has been providing medical services and billing Medicare.

Practice requirements are the requirement for a general practitioner to provide medical services as specified in the eligibility criteria for the program.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for general practices are the standards against which general practices are assessed for accreditation by an accrediting agency.

Standardised Whole Patient Equivalent (SWPE) is the basis for determining PIP payment amounts for some PIP incentives. It’s the sum of the fractions of care a practice provides to each of its patients weighted for the age and gender of each patient. As a guide, the average full time general practitioner has a SWPE value of around 1,000 SWPEs annually.

Page last updated: 7 February 2018