Workforce Incentive Program – Doctor Stream: Frequently Asked Questions

Page last updated: 20 December 2019

  1. Where are the eligible locations?
  2. What is the Modified Monash Model (MMM)?
  3. What are the incentive payment rates?
  4. What if I provide a mix of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) services and non-MBS services?
  5. How does leave or inactivity affect my eligibility and payments?
  6. How is my activity captured under the CPS?
  7. Do I need to provide my bank account details again?
  8. What is Health Professional Online Services (HPOS)?
  9. What if I have further questions?

1. Where are the eligible locations?

Eligible locations under the WIP – Doctor Stream are those locations in Australia within Modified Monash Model (MMM) classifications 3 to 7. The MMM classification of a location can be checked using the Health Workforce Locator on the DoctorConnect website.

Eligible services are based on the practice or outreach location, regardless of the medical practitioner or patient address.

See the WIP Guidelines for full details of the eligibility requirements.

2. What is the Modified Monash Model (MMM)?

The MMM is a geographical classification system that uses population data to categorise the location of a medical practitioner or practice. The MMM classification system more effectively targets financial incentives to health professionals working in areas that experience greater difficulty attracting and retaining staff. The WIP uses the MMM 2019.

The MMM uses the Australian Statistical Geography Standard – Remoteness Area (ASGS-RA) developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as a base and then further differentiates areas in Inner and Outer Regional Australia based on local town size to arrive at the seven MM categories. The MMM 2019 was updated using 2016 ABS Census data and geography information.

A table identifying the new MMM classification can be found below.

Modified Monash Category Description
MM 1 Major cities. All areas categorised ASGS-RA1.
MM 2 Inner (ASGS-RA 2) and Outer Regional (ASGS-RA 3) areas that are in, or within a 20km drive of a town with over 50,000 residents.
MM 3 Inner (ASGS-RA 2) and Outer Regional (ASGS-RA 3) areas that are not MM 2 and are in, or within a 15 km drive of a town with between 15,000 to 50,000 residents.
MM 4 Inner (ASGS-RA 2) and Outer Regional (ASGS-RA 3) areas that are not MM 2 or MM 3, and are in, or within a 10km drive of a town with between 5,000 and 15,000 residents.
MM 5 All remaining Inner (ASGS-RA 2) and Outer Regional (ASGS-RA 3) areas. Note: Islands that have an MM 5 classification with a population of less than 1,000 without bridges to the mainland will now be classified as MM 6.
MM 6 Remote mainland areas (ASGS-RA 4) AND remote islands less than 5kms offshore. Note: Islands that have an MM 5 classification with a population of less than 1,000 without bridges to the mainland will now be classified as MM 6.
MM 7 Very remote areas (ASGS-RA 5) and all other remote island areas more than 5kms offshore.

Enquiries regarding the MMM classification system can be emailed to Rural.Distribution@health.gov.au.

3. What are the incentive payment rates?

The following table outlines maximum payment amounts for each location and year level:

Location (MM) Year level 1 Year level 2 Year level 3 Year level 4 Year level 5+
MM 3 $0 $4,500 $7,500 $7,500 $12,000
MM 4 $0 $8,000 $13,000 $13,000 $18,000
MM 5 $0 $12,000 $17,000 $17,000 $23,000
MM 6 $16,000 $16,000 $25,000 $25,000 $35,000
MM 7 $25,000 $25,000 $35,000 $35,000 $60,000

The MM 3 category also includes participants on approved training pathways undertaking selected approved training in MM 1 and MM 2 locations.

Note: Year level corresponds to the duration of active service taken to qualify for successive payments within the program which may not be in 12 month increments.

4. What if I provide a mix of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) services and non-MBS services?

MBS services are captured under the Central Payment System (CPS) whereas eligible non-MBS activity is captured under the Flexible Payment System (FPS). If you provide a mix of MBS and eligible non-MBS activity, and you fall under the Alternative Employment provisions outlined in the Guidelines, then you may apply under the FPS for a ‘top-up’ to ensure you are recognised for all eligible services.

Medical practitioners applying through the FPS must account for all time spent providing eligible services, regardless of whether the services were MBS billed. Time spent providing eligible services will be quantified in 3 hour+ sessions on a FPS Application Form. More information about the FPS is available on the Department's website.

See the WIP Guidelines for full details of the eligibility requirements and applying under the FPS.

5. How does leave or inactivity affect my eligibility and payments?

Section 2.3.1 of the WIP Guidelines refers to the activity required in order to access a payment. A continuing participant, as well as new participants to the program practising predominantly in MM 6-7 locations, must achieve four active quarters within an eight quarter period to be eligible for a payment. Inactive periods are not eligible for payment.

Under Section 2.5 of the WIP Guidelines, a medical practitioner can be inactive for a period of up to five years for any reason without loss of their accrued Year Level status but will not receive incentive payments for any period of leave. Participants who have not been eligible for a payment within the 24 quarters (six years) immediately prior to becoming eligible for their next payment will recommence in the program as a new participant.

6. How is my activity captured under the CPS?

Assessments of eligible MBS services for the WIP – Doctor Stream are calculated at the end of each quarter. WIP – Doctor Stream CPS payments are based on the eligible services that have been processed by the Department of Human Services (Human Services) during the quarter, regardless of the date of service.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The timely submission of MBS billings for the purposes of the WIP – Doctor Stream is the responsibility of participants.

7. Do I need to provide my bank account details again?

If you have already lodged your bank account details with Human Services for the WIP – Doctor Stream (or previously for the General Practice Rural Incentives Program [GPRIP]), you do not need to lodge your bank account details again.

If you have not lodged your bank account details with Human Services for WIP – Doctor Stream (or GPRIP), or your bank details have changed, you must lodge your bank account details to receive payments. You can update your details using Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) (see below) or access the WIP – Doctor Stream bank account details form on the Human Services website.

After achieving the required number of active quarters for payment, Human Services will automatically determine a payment amount and deposit the amount into the medical practitioner’s nominated bank account. If the medical practitioner has not nominated a bank account, Human Services will write to the medical practitioner requesting bank details be provided. Medical practitioners must provide bank details within 60 calendar days of the date of that letter, otherwise they will not be eligible to receive that payment.

IMPORTANT NOTE: it is the medical practitioner’s responsibility to ensure that bank account details are up to date at all times to facilitate payments.

8. What is Health Professional Online Services (HPOS)?

HPOS is a fast and secure way for health professionals and administrators to do business online with Human Services. It offers health professionals a single entry point to perform a range of business and administrative tasks including submitting claims online, managing medical practitioner details, retrieving statements/reports, and authorising and managing delegations.

For the WIP – Doctor Stream, medical practitioners will be able to view their service history (active & inactive quarters), payment statements, update bank details, and receive notifications for their mail services by selecting the WIP – Doctor Stream tile. Any updates made online in HPOS will be visible and take effect immediately.

Medical practitioners will need to use their Provider Digital Access Account (PRODA) to access HPOS. PRODA is a secure online verification system that uses a username, password and verification code to login. It is a portable solution that requires no additional hardware or software and is available to anyone. If medical practitioners do not already have a PRODA account, one can be created at humanservices.gov.au/proda.

To access HPOS, visit humanservices.gov.au/hpos. If you have difficulties using HPOS, please contact Human Services on 1800 010 550.

9. What if I have further questions?

For Payment Assessment and Calculation Enquiries contact Human Services on 1800 010 550.

For Eligibility Enquiries contact the Department of Health at WIP@health.gov.au.