We’ve just celebrated the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Dog. People born in Dog years display loyalty and honesty amongst many other good qualities. However it is said that they can also be critical – maybe overly so. Segueing to another Chinese concept, we meet Qi, the vital life force that flows through the body. Let’s put these together.




A wise man once told me that the three pillars (the vital life force) of general practice are quality, service, and finance. All three of these come together in the form of the Practice Incentive Payments (PIP) scheme. You can read about this here but in summary Accredited General Practices are paid amounts of money for reaching certain quality measures. These include planning the management of a proportion of patients with diabetes and asthma, and ensuring women are screened for cervical cancer. There are also Incentive Payments for managing aged care and quality in prescribing.





These payments were due for a change on May 1st 2018. Were they promoting the vital life force of General Practice, were they tick box exercises for busy GPs, or were they overly critical of General Practice, not focusing on true quality? Enter QI – Quality Improvement. Rather than Qi, QI may be an altogether different beast.






The Department of Health has confirmed that the Practice Incentive Program Quality Improvement Incentive will now occur from 1 May 2019.



From their press release:



The Practice Incentive Program (PIP) has been a key driver in quality care in the general practice sector and the PIP QI Incentive will continue to build on this important work, further strengthening quality improvement in primary health care. The additional 12 months will enable the Department, with the support and advice from PIPAG, to ensure that any implementation issues are identified and addressed and that general practices have adequate opportunity to prepare. It will also allow the Department to continue to consult with stakeholders on refining the design of the PIP QI Incentive.


The changed time frame will mean that the following five incentives which were to cease on 1 May 2018, will now continue through to 30 April 2019.



The five incentives are:

Asthma Incentive

Quality Prescribing Incentive

Cervical Screening Incentive

Diabetes Incentive

General Practitioner Aged Care Access Incentive


The six PIP Incentives that continue to remain unchanged are:

eHealth Incentive

After Hours Incentive

Rural Loading Incentive

Teaching Payment

Indigenous Health Incentive

Procedural General Practitioner Payment



What next? Will the new QI beast be reflective of quality in General Practice? Will the measures align with what we as General Practitioners believe is high quality Great General Practice care? Or will it aptly be launched in the Chinese Year of the Pig in 2019?


For what it’s worth, here are my measurements of quality, service, and finance in General Practice – the Qi of GP:



Quality – Time and Presence with Our Valued Patients


Service – Charging a private fee to those who can pay, allowing us to be charitable to those who cannot


Finance – Running Practices efficiently and well, with clinicians as owners steering the course of patient centred practices.



I would love to hear other views on this. We are all professionals or patients or both and we can always improve. Let me know here on the blog (or on our website) – or, if you’re a GP, on the fantastic GPDU FB Group – where GPs are invited to a festival of education and collegiality (#FOAMed – #GPDU18) May 30 – June 1! My last quality ltip – for personally better Qi – is below!


Get a Great GP!

(Here’s some we made earlier)

Dr Nick Tellis

Your Specialist In Life

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis

Dr Gareth Boucher

Dr Gareth’s Cycle of Care

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

Dr Monika Moy

Dr Monika Moy

Dr Katherine Astill

Dr Katherine Astill 1

We look forward to seeing you soon!