Not too late to apply for the ePIP
General practices that did not meet the new requirements of the eHealth Practice Incentives Program (ePIP) by the February 1 deadline can still apply for future payments if they become compliant, the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) has confirmed.
The new ePIP requires that practices install and begin using a number of eHealth initiatives, including integrating healthcare identifiers into electronic practice records, installing a standards-compliant secure messaging service, begin recording the majority of diagnoses for active patients electronically using a medical vocabulary, and installing an electronic prescription exchange service to be able to send eScripts.
By May 1, they must also be using clinical software that can access the PCEHR.
A letter and application form for the first ePIP payment, which will be made in May, were sent to all PIP registered practices at the end of February. Application forms are also available from the Medicare website.
A DoHA spokeswoman said that to be eligible for an ePIP payment in May 2013, a practice must have met the first four eligibility requirements by February 1 and should apply before April 24.
However, those practices that did not meet the requirements by February 1 can still apply for future payments, she said.
“Practices that did not meet the requirements by 1 February 2013 will not be eligible for a May 2013 payment,” she said.
“However, once they meet the requirements they can apply for future payment quarters. If a practice becomes compliant after the start of any payment quarter, they should not apply until after the start of the next quarter.”
If practices want to apply for the second quarter payment – from May 1 to July 31 – they must fufil all five of the requirements, including accessing the PCEHR.
The May payments will only be paid to practices that met the requirements for the entire first quarter: February 1 to April 30.
“As long as the eligibility requirements continue to be met, practices will only need to apply once and will be eligible for ongoing payments,” the spokeswoman said.
Eligible practices can receive a maximum payment of $12,500 per quarter, based on $6.50 per standardised whole patient equivalent (SWPE) per year.
|Final date for application form to be submitted||Where your practice will meet the eligibility criteria for the full period of||Payment will be made in|
|24 April||1 Feb – 30 Apr||May|
|24 July||1 May – 31 Jul||August|
|24 October||1 Aug – 30 Oct||November|
|24 January||1 Nov – 31 Jan||February|
Practices can check to see if their software products are compliant at NEHTA's ePIP product register.
The DoHA spokeswoman said that in 2011-12, expenditure for the previous ePIP was $89.1 million, with an average payment of $20,000 per practice.
As of early March, 74,666 consumers and 1467 healthcare organisations were registered in the PCEHR system, she said.
Posted in Australian eHealth