Medicare after-hours funding

Medicare has resumed funding of after-hours services. 

To be eligible for the PIP After-hours Incentive, practices must meet the following core eligibility requirements:

  • be registered for the PIP and meet the requirements for the payment level claimed for the entire quarter before the payment month
  • provide after hours care for patients in accordance with the RACGP Standards for general practices
  • clearly communicate after hours arrangements to patients, including information available within the practice, on the practice website or through a telephone answering machine.

You need to apply for the relevant level of PIP appropriate for the level of after hours care you provide. There are 5 levels available including:

Level 1 – Formal arrangements in place with other providers, including Medical Deputising Services, to ensure access for practice patients.

Level 2 – 3 – Providing sociable after hours care with formal arrangements in place with other providers, including Medical Deputising Services, to ensure access for practice patients in the unsociable hours

Level 4 – 5 – Providing complete after hours care

The difference in level 2 - 3 and 4 – 5 is whether you are providing the care in a cooperative arrangement, or for your practice only. 

Applications can be completed online using HPOS or by using the forms below.

Western Victoria PHN after-hours funding

Western Victoria Primary Health Network is delighted to announce the successful applicants which have been selected to deliver afterhours projects over 2016 – 2017.

This funding is supporting six Critical Area Grants, six Innovation Grants and eleven Fostering Extended Hours grants as detailed below.

Successful Innovations Grants

Ballarat Hospice
This project will implement telehealth connectivity between hospice in the home clients and the on-call nurse with the aim to reduce clinically un-necessary callouts and make the service more sustainable as demand increases. The funding is for mobile devices for the clients and staff and client training of the technology and the development of a manual to aid in future use of the system.

Geelong Hospice
With new innovation funding Geelong Hospice will train staff to support patients in their home in the afterhours period and financially support them to provide care at home to assist them to die at home when this is their preference. Funding is for training and support for extension of home care support into the afterhours period.

Grampians Community Health
Grampians Community Health will utilise funding to extend general practice clinic hours and increases availability to mental health as well as drug and alcohol services in the afterhours period in three locations. Co-location with services is proposed where possible to reduce costs.

Maryborough District Health Services
Maryborough District Health Services will implement telehealth between remote Urgent Care Centres (UCC) and remote health facilities with no on-call GP and the on-call GP in the base UCC. The aim will be to reduce un-necessary transportations and increase the use of acute beds in the remote sites.

Rural Northwest Health Services
This project will support the implementation of telehealth between regional Residential Aged Care Facilities and remote UCC and the Nurse Practitioner (NP) or GP at the centralised UCC. This will allow patients to be assessed by a NP or GP without them being transported during the afterhours period due to lack of on-site assessment. This should enable community and aged care residents to stay in their community and receive appropriate clinical care without having to be transported to another point of care. This project includes training, support and on-going management of the telehealth project which has been identified in literature as an important component of any telehealth model.

Tristar
Tristar will commence a new telehealth model between patients and the on-call GP allowing for “appointments” in the afterhours period with on-call GP’s. The funding will support the development and implementation of systems to enable the service to be conducted and ongoing support which has been identified in literature as an important component of any telehealth model.

Successful Critical Support Grants

Apollo Bay
Critical Area Support funding will allow the continuation of an on-call service in a critical area of need where the service is at risk. The funding allocated to Apollo Bay General Practice will ensure the community can get timely access to a GP in the afterhours period.

Corio Medical Centre
Corio Medical Centre is located in a low socio economic area with abuse and violence issues who provide over 11,000 consults in the afterhours period. The funding will support education to staff with regards to aggressive and violent patients and contribute to the additional required staffing levels to maintain a safe work place.

Epichealth Medical
Epichealth is located in an area of fluctuating and growing population - area of increasing demand for afterhours services. This project will open the clinic during the sociable hours addressing a need in the region. It is hoped the funding will help reduce unnecessary crowding of hospital emergency departments in the region.

Lorne GP
This project will address specific local needs allowing for the opening of the clinic on specific day of demand including public holidays and during peak times. The funding will support Lorne General Practice to offer access and convenience that meets the demands of patients who are frustrated over the peak times of the year when services are under the most pressure.

Myers Street Family Practice
Funding will support extended services in a critical area of need. Funding to Myers Street Family Practice will boost afterhours services in the area and reduce the large amount of people going to emergency departments for non-urgent conditions.

Port Fairy Medical Clinic
Critical Area Support funding will allow Port Fairy Medical Clinic to continue providing an on-call service in a critical area of need where the service is at risk. The on call service enables the Port Fairy community the ability to receive afterhours services without the inconvenience of having to travel to Warrnambool ensuring afterhours care is both timely and accessible.

Successful Fostering Extended Hours Grants

Fostering Extended Hours Grants have been received by the following practices to encourage GPs to provide extended hours clinics in the RRMA 4 or 5 regions:

  • Ballan Centre for Community Health
  • Colac Medical Centre
  • Corangamite Clinic
  • Drysdale Bulk Billing Medical Centre
  • Golden Plains Medical Centre
  • South West Medical Centre
  • Springs Medical Centre
  • Stawell Medical Centre
  • Teesdale Family Medical Centre
  • Tristar Medical Group - Horsham
  • Winchelsea Medical Clinic

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After-hours feedback

Please use this form to provide feedback on any after hours services within the Western Victoria PHN region.

Program officer

Stacey Kelly
P. 5304 5611