Maximise Your Healthcare Outcomes: A guide to utilising the PIP QI Incentive

In 2019 The Federal Government launched the Practice Incentive Program for Quality Improvement (PIP QI). The program aims to support practices in undertaking activities to improve patient outcomes and deliver the best practice care possible.

The following blog will explore:

  • What PIPQI is and the benefits it can have on your practice
  • How your practice can undertake quality improvement 
  • The guidelines you need to follow to ensure you qualify for the incentive
  • How your practice can go about finding the right data

What is PIP QI?

PIP QI stands for Practice Incentives Program Quality Improvement. 

The PIP QI program aims to recognise and support general practices that are committed to improving the quality of care provided to patients. For a practice to be eligible to participate in the PIP QI program, there are two key components they need to meet:

  1. Participate in Continuous Quality Improvement; and
  2. Provide the PIP Eligible Data Set to their local PHN each quarter.

Benefits of participating in the PIP QI program

Participating in the PIP QI program can be very beneficial to practices. Not only can they be financially rewarded for undertaking continuous quality improvement activities, but it also encourages practices to:

  • Utilise their data when developing innovative strategies to improve patient care, and
  • Identify key areas (financially and operationally) within the practice that need improvement.

There are many quality improvement activities that your practice can undertake. A great one is making improvements to your Chronic Disease Management (CDM) program.

For example, you’re looking at your data and comparing it against some industry benchmarks. You might find that your practice currently sits 2% below the industry average for Nurse led CDM and you want to improve this. Why not turn it into a quality improvement cycle?

Set a goal of improving your Nurse led CDM by 1-2% each month, and work with your nursing team to help them achieve this goal. You can use your practice data to identify patients who are on a GPMP or TCA and have not had 5x 10997s billed this calendar year. Download these lists of patients for your reception or nursing team to contact and book in for appointments.

This will result in an increase in the number of patients receiving proactive and quality care, as well as helping to increase your practice’s total CDM billings.

What resources are available to help me with my PIP QI journey?

There are hundreds of resources available online to support you in your PIP QI journey. However, your local PHN has a wealth of knowledge on PIP QI and Quality Improvement and have the knowledge and resources to help you understand:

  • The guidelines for the practice incentive program
  • The necessary PIP Eligible Data Set
  • Ten improvement measures
  • Some examples of useful quality improvement activities
  • And in more detail, discuss your eligibility for the PIP QI Incentive Payment

Lastly, if you’re interested in enrolling your practice in the PIP QI incentive your practice will need a PRODA account. Services Australia has a guide outlining the necessary steps you can take to apply for this worthwhile program.

What is Quality Improvement?

Quality improvement (QI) in general practice involves continuously monitoring, evaluating, and enhancing the healthcare services you provided for patients.

One standard approach for identifying areas for improvement is through the Clinical Practice Improvement (CPI) methodology, which involves identifying and diagnosing problems before implementing solutions. The solutions are then tested using rapid “Plan, Do, Study, Act” (PDSA) cycles.

It’s important to note that QI activities should be based on findings from your practice data, in compliance with RACGP’s 5th edition standards. For more information on Quality Improvement and how you can run successful PDSA cycles, check out some of our other blog posts:

PIP QI Guidelines to follow

Firstly, you will need to ensure your practice is eligible to participate in the PIP QI Incentive. You can do this by assessing whether your practice meets the mandatory incentive requirements, or chatting to your local PHN who can assist you in determining your eligibility.

To be eligible to participate in the PIP Quality Improvement (QI), general practices must first meet the same eligibility requirements as the broader Practice Incentives Program (PIP). This includes gaining and maintaining accreditation with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Standards for general practices. Once they’ve gone through the accreditation process and passed, practices can then participate in PIP, as well as, any incentive initiatives under it, such as the PIP QI Incentive.

Secondly, data is crucial component for the quality improvement process. A successful approach to continuous quality improvement in healthcare requires:

  • a continuous process of data collection and analysis,
  • identification of areas for improvement,
  • development and implementation of solutions, and
  • evaluation of the results and assessment for further improvement.

General Practices across Australia are collecting data everyday, but it’s what you do with that data that is important. Over the last decade we’ve seen a growing number of practices turn to their data to help identify areas within the practice that need improvement. Many of whom have undergone a successful redesign of their clinical systems, which has resulted in improved patient safety and care. Additionally, many of these practices have used data from their practice management systems in an effort to provide proactive and improve the systemic management of chronic diseases. Ultimately helping practices in finding the right patient, for the right care, at the right time.

How you can implement the practice incentives program in your practice

To summarise the PIPQI Incentive program, let’s look at how you can now implement it in your practice.

There are several steps your medical practice can take to implement the Practice Incentives Program (PIP):

  1. Review the guidelines: The first step is to familiarise yourself with the guidelines for the PIP. These guidelines outline the eligibility requirements, incentive payments, and the types of activities that are eligible for reimbursement. You can find this information on the Department of Human Services website here.
  2. Accreditation: To participate in the PIP, your practice must be accredited by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or an equivalent accreditation body. If you’re already an accredited practice, it’s essential that you ensure that your practice is up-to-date with the required accreditation standards. If you’re interested in becoming an accredited practice, click here.
  3. Register with the Department of Human Service: Now that your practice is accredited, you will need to register with the Department of Human Services. You will need to provide the requested details about your practice and elect which incentive initiatives you wish to participate in.
  4. Collect and submit data: To qualify for an incentive payment, your practice will need to collect and submit data to their local PHN on a quarterly basis. This data will be used to monitor your practice’s performance and identify areas for improvement.
  5. Participate in quality improvement activities: The PIP rewards practices for participating in quality improvement activities. Use your practice data to identify the areas for improvement in your practice and develop a plan to implement these changes.
  6. Review and monitor progress: Regularly review and monitor your practice’s progress to ensure that you are meeting the requirements for the PIP and see how you’re tracking with the improvements you set out to achieve.

It’s important to note that PIP QI Incentive may have additional requirements, you may want to check the guidelines specifically for that program to make sure you’re meeting the conditions to qualify.

Finding the right data in your practice

Lastly, let’s explore how you can go about finding the right data to use in your practice. Most of the data you can use for a quality improvement can be found in your Practice Management Software (PMS).

The data you can access for Quality Improvement is not just limited to your PMS. For example, third party software vendors such as your chosen online appointment vendor or data analytics platform can be used to identify trends within your practice, such as the update of online appointments across your patient base, or the trend of DNA’s in your practice.

Cubiko provides data to practices that can be used for Quality Improvement activities. Again, Quality Improvement activities are not just limited to the ten improvement measures that are included in the PIP Eligible Data Set. For reference, those ten measures are:

  1. Proportion of patients with diabetes with a current glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) result
  2. Proportion of patients with a smoking status recorded
  3. Proportion of patients with a weight classification
  4. Proportion of patients aged 65 and over who were immunised against influenza
  5. Proportion of patients with diabetes who were immunised against influenza
  6. Proportion of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who were immunised against influenza
  7. Proportion of patients with an alcohol consumption status
  8. Proportion of patients with the necessary risk factors assessed to enable cardiovascular disease (CVD) assessment
  9. Proportion of female patients with an up-to-date cervical screening
  10. Proportion of patients with diabetes with a blood pressure result

Additional Quality Improvement activities you can perform may include improving did-not-attends (DNA) in your practice, or improving your chronic disease management program. Overall what matters is that it is measurable, and you have the data at your fingertips to track and measure the improvements in your practice, and ultimately the care you provide to patients.

Want to learn more about how data and Cubiko can help simplify your PIP QI requirements?

To conclude, the PIP QI incentive program provides practices with a great opportunity to improve the quality of care they provide to patients or make improvements to the operations within their practice while being financially rewarded for their efforts.

Manually collecting data, while ensuring that the data you’re collecting is relevant to the PIP QI requirements can be a time consuming task. Time that is better spent putting your ideas for change into action.

Book in a demo with one of our qualified team members to learn more about how you can used Cubiko to simplify your data collection and help you meet your PIP QI requirements.

Trusted, reliable, loved by practices

Hear what your colleagues in the industry have to say