Accreditation is a set of formal standards that hold a profession accountable. In the health care setting, it is based on standards devised by health care professionals for health care services. It is an established process by which many industries benchmark their performance. It also guarantees a minimum standard of safety and care – particularly relevant in the health care industry. (1)
Accreditation of general practice is an ongoing process. It encourages practices to maintain and improve their performance against criteria set by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). Meeting the requirements can be onerous when general practice is focused on managing the increasingly complex needs of patients
The FNQ Division recognizes the difficulty faced by general practice teams – in keeping up with accreditation. By working together, we aim to streamline and simplify the process wherever possible.
How can we help?
Our practice support team can assist practices with the accreditation process through education on standards of practice, up skilling of practice teams, providing current resources and liaising with accreditation credentialing bodies – the Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL) and General Practice Australia (GPA).
Practice visits can be arranged from Tully to Weipa to discuss specific needs and to suggest improvements which may assist practices to meet the standards.
Practice Incentives Program (PIP)
To encourage general practice to continue to meet the accreditation requirements, incentives are made available only to practices which are fully accredited or are new practices in the process of gaining accreditation within 12 months.
Payments under the Practice Incentives Program are administered by Medicare Australia, in addition to other income sources such as patient payments and Medicare rebates. PIP payments are linked to specific aspects of general practice that contribute to quality care.
Payments and calculations using the PIP formula is in itself a significant task for general practice. There are 13 broad elements of the formula, some with several tiers of payment. Practices may qualify for any or all payments, which are cumulative.
Advice and support is available through the FNQ Division to ensure practices are gaining maximum benefit from the PIP for their efforts to improve the quality of care provided to patients. Contact your practice support officer for more information.