$300 per aged care patient – win or loss?

4 minute read

The first MyMedicare-exclusive incentive payment has sparked frustration, but how does it compare to the current practice incentive payment?

MyMedicare’s first big-boy cash incentive has been unveiled, and GPs are resoundingly underwhelmed.

Set to replace the current Practice Incentive Program – GP Aged Care Access Initiative incentive payment at some point next year, GPs will receive $300 per year for every residential aged care patient they register.

“Practices registered for MyMedicare will be paid incentives to provide their registered patients in aged care with regular visits and care planning,” Health Minister Mark Butler told the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

“The development of the funding package for that group has been worked through with stakeholders and can now be announced.

“The incentives include $300 per patient, per year to be paid quarterly to the GP, and $130 per patient, per year to be paid quarterly to the practice.”

All payments are made on top of existing MBS rebates and will be scaled for rurality.

RACGP president Dr Nicole Higgins told The Medical Republic that the college supports additional funding for aged care but would wait to see the finer details before giving its support.

“One of the biggest concerns I had was that it would be tied to bulk billing, and it’s not,” she said.

“So that’s been that’s a good outcome and I think that’s really important for GPs so that they can continue to see aged care patients, even though we know that they’re continuing to subsidise care.”

Earnings per patient/consult

The key difference between the aged care PIP and the MyMedicare incentive is that where the PIP is based on minimum activity, MyMedicare works on a per-person basis.

It’s not clear yet whether a required minimum level of service will be attached to the MyMedicare incentive or how the government will ensure GPs follow through on providing services to their registered aged care patients.

Because they’re based on different units – number of services vs number of patients – it’s hard to directly compare the two incentive payments.

The PIP had four payment tiers: GPs who performed 60 to 99 eligible services earned $2000, those who did 100 to 139 got $4500, those who did 140 to 179 got $7000 and those who did more than 180 got $10,000.

Breaking this down further, doing 60 services meant an additional $33.33 per service, doing 100 services worked out to getting an extra $45 per service, doing 140 worked out to an extra $50 per service and doing 180 worked out to an extra $55.56 per service.

Basically, each time a GP jumped up a tier, the incentive per service got bigger.

This doesn’t appear to be the case for MyMedicare, which is understood to just be a flat $300 per patient.

Minimum earnings

Under the aged care PIP, the Tier 1a payment of $2000 was only paid out once a GP had performed at least 60 eligible services.

A GP who did 59 aged care services or less therefore received nothing.

That would change under MyMedicare – all GPs who do aged care work will be able to get extra funding, so long as the patient is registered.

This could work out as a boon for GPs who have very few patients in residential aged care and therefore may not have qualified for the PIP in the past.

One only needs to register seven patients in order to make more than $2000.

Maximum earnings

Under the PIP system, GPs were able to earn a maximum of $10,000 per year.

It’s not clear yet whether there will be a cap on the number of aged care patients each practice can register under MyMedicare.

In order to make the same maximum amount of money as the PIP, each GP would have to register 34 residential aged care patients.

End of content

No more pages to load

Log In Register ×