Financial rewards for remote general practitioners.

“GPRIP helps to feel you’re being compensated for the challenging nature of remote medicine. I’ve put my GPRIP payments towards buying a bike and taking an extended holiday; it’s helped me achieve work-life balance, which is essential to being a sustainable rural practitioner in a remote location.” – doctor working in MM6 location.

GPRIP-FPS-Rural Health West-WA

What is GPRIP FPS

The General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) Flexible Payment System (FPS) provides financial incentives to medical practitioners providing eligible non-Medicare services and/or undertaking training (under approved training pathways) that is not reflected in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) records in regional, rural and remote locations. Incentives are tiered, based on remoteness and increase the longer a medical practitioner works in regional, rural and remote locations. 

GPRIP FPS is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health as part of the 2009-10 Rural Health Workforce Strategy Budget Measure.

The FPS component of the GPRIP is administered in Western Australia by Rural Health West.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the GPRIP, medical practitioners must:

  • provide eligible primary care services and/or undertake GP Registrar training placements under an approved training pathway in regional, rural and remote locations (Modified Monash [MM] categories 3-7) within Australia; and
  • have an eligible current Medicare provider number; and
  • have provided current bank details to the Department of Human Services specifically for the GPRIP.


Alternative Employment not covered under the Central Payment System (CPS)

Below are the forms of employment that are eligible for assessment under the FPS.

alternative employment

Alternative Employment Top-Up

If the medical practitioner fits into one of the Alternative Employment provisions but provides a mix of MBS billed and non-billed services and has billed enough to trigger a Central Payment System automatic payment across the relevant period, the medical practitioner can apply through the FPS to see if they are eligible for an ‘Alternative Employment Top-Up’.
See the GPRIP Program Guidelines for full details on the eligibility requirements.

Special Top-Up Provision
Medical practitioners working in remote and very remote communities can apply for a Special Top-Up payment under the circumstances covered in the Special Top-Up Provisions table.



special top up 2*Note: Excess travel time is considered three or more cumulative hours per week. Travel time must be from the practice location in which the medical practitioner is based, to the location in which they are providing outreach services in MM6-7. Travel time sessions must be a minimum of three hours and are included in the TWO sessions per day limit.

See the GPRIP Program Guidelines for full details on the eligibility requirements.

Medical practitioners working in detention centres, defence facilities and Antarctica are not eligible for the GPRIP FPS. Junior doctors completing their compulsory hospital year (RACGP) or core clinical training year (ACRRM) cannot claim the GPRIP FPS.

 

Incentives

Higher incentives are available for medical practitioners who work in remote locations for extended periods. The following table outlines the maximum annual payments available to medical practitioners across each MM at each Year Level. 

GPRIP-financial incentives table-Rural Health West-0218

Actual payments may be lower as they are dependent on the level of eligible activity performed by the medical practitioner (see "Other requirements" below for further information).

Flexible Payments System
The FPS only applies to medical practitioners (including GP Registrars) who are not billing the Medicare Benefits Schedule for ALL of their eligible non-Medicare primary care services or training placement. This is particularly relevant to medical practitioners working in Aboriginal Medical Services, providing primary care services in the hospital system and GP Registrars. 

The FPS component of GPRIP is administered in Western Australia by Rural Health West.

Other requirements

Medical practitioners can access GPRIP FPS payments based on the volume of work they have undertaken in rural and remote locations. 

Medical practitioners receiving incentives through the GPRIP FPS are considered ‘active’ if they provide at least 21 eligible primary care sessions* over a 13-week period (being a quarter). You can only claim two sessions per day irrespective of the number of hours you may actually work that day.

*a primary care GPRIP session must be longer than three hours.

Incentives paid through the GPRIP FPS are not automated. Medical practitioners are required to complete GPRIP FPS Application Form and submit to the Rural Health West Finance team.


Example: level of activity required under the FPS

GPRIP-FPS-example level activity-Rural Health West-0218

Next steps

If you believe you are eligible for GPRIP incentives through the FPS, you can download and complete the GPRIP FPS Application Form and submit it to the Rural Health West Finance team.

Further information

If you are unsure whether you meet the eligibility requirements for GPRIP incentives, contact the Rural Health West Finance team or telephone 08 6389 4500.