The Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) replaced the Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP) and the General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) in January 2020. The WIP:
- encourages medical practitioners to deliver primary health care services and advanced skills in regional, rural and remote communities in MM3-7 locations through the provision of financial incentives
- supports team-based multidisciplinary care models in primary health care settings, to better respond to patients with chronic and complex health conditions
- supports practices to improve their use of primary health care nurses enabling nurses to work to their full scope of practice
- provides greater flexibility for practices to employ nurses and eligible allied health professionals to address service gaps and community needs
- supports an expanded role for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners and health workers to deliver culturally appropriate and safe care within general practices.
What are eligible primary care services?
Eligible primary care services are listed as clinical services from the following sections of the MBS:
- Category 1: Professional attendances.
- Category 2: Diagnostic procedures and investigations.
- Category 3: Therapeutic procedures.
- Category 7: Cleft lip and cleft palate services.
Telehealth services within these categories are generally eligible under the WIP Doctor Stream with the exception of some specialist items.
Eligible services are based on the doctor’s physical practice location or outreach location, not the patient location.
The program calculates payments according to your number of active quarters. Your quarter becomes active if you meet the minimum quarterly activity threshold:
- Central Payment System (CPS) – $6,000 of eligible primary care services billed under the MBS
- Flexible Payment System (FPS) – 21 sessions, each lasting 3 hours or more
The maximum quarterly activity thresholds are $30,000 of MBS billed services for the CPS and 104 sessions for the FPS.
Doctors must apply through the FPS for all time spent providing WIP – Doctor Stream eligible services, regardless of whether the services were MBS billed. This is to ensure all eligible primary care activity has been counted to meet the minimum level of activity.
There are three streams to the WIP:
WIP - Doctor Stream
Doctors located in Modified Monash (MM) categories 3-7 can receive an annual payment based on services provided within eligible locations and the length of time they have been in the program.
Incentive payments are between $4,500 and $60,000 per year, depending on activity levels, location, and duration of active services within the program. Payments are made directly to doctors.
Two systems are used to assess and pay these financial incentives:
- Central Payment System (CPS) – for doctors who bill the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) for eligible services.
- Flexible Payment System (FPS) – for doctors who provide eligible services and/or undertake training that is not reflected in the MBS.
Some doctors may provide services under both payment systems.
To be eligible for the Doctor Stream, you must:
- provide a minimum amount of eligible primary care services or undertake eligible GP or Rural Generalist training under an approved training pathway in the Modified Monash (MM) 3 to 7
- meet the required number of active quarters for payment
- have an eligible current Medicare provider number
- have provided current bank account details to Services Australia specifically for the WIP - Doctor Stream through the Health Professional Online Service (HPOS).
WIP - Rural Advanced Skills Stream
From 1 January 2024, the new Rural Advanced Skills Payment Stream will commence for GPs and rural generalists with advanced clinical skills to practice in rural and remote communities.
This program is time limited and will recognise services delivered between 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2025.
Modified Monash Model
The Modified Monash Model (MMM) is the classification system used to define whether a location is city, rural, remote, or very remote. The model measures remoteness and population size on a scale of Modified Monash (MM) category MM1 to MM 7, where MM 1 is a major city, and MM 7 is very remote.
Use the Doctor Connect Health Workforce Locator map to determine your practice's classification.
Where can I find more information about WIP?
For further information, visit :
- Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) (Department of Health and Aged Care)
- WIP - Practice Stream (Services Australia)
- WIP - Doctor Stream (Services Australia)
- WIP - Practice Stream educational resources (Services Australia)
Enquiry Line 1800 222 032 or email: email@example.com
This information is a guide only and subject to change without notice. Please refer to the WIP guidelines on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.