Practice nurse subsidy

The practice nurse subsidy is available to general practitioners under the Section 88 notice to help them employ a registered nurse. The practice nurse must be performing medical duties to be eligible for the subsidy.

I have not been paid for an entire practice nurse subsidy claim, what should I do?

Call the Sector Operations Contact Centre (0800 252 464) to find out whether the claim has been received and if so whether payment has been stopped due to an error with the claim or a processing problem.

If the claim has not been received it will need to be resubmitted to Sector Operations via the usual routes – if the claim is now over 6 months old it will need special approval from your DHB before Sector Operations can process it.

The claim has been received but it has not been fully paid and the variance report is showing error messages, what do these messages mean?

Error 0513 – Invalid NZMC

The Medical Council number given has expired or is not in Sector Operations’s database. Please check your records and call the Sector Operations Contact Centre with the correct details so that adjustments can be made. If the NZMC is correct then Sector Operations will need to check that the doctor’s APC is still valid and covers the dates of service of the claim.

Error 0517 – Claim is stale

The dates of service on the claim are more than 6 months old and will require special approval from your DHB before we can release payment.

Error 0520 – Invalid service for contract

The contract number given has expired or is not in Sector Operations’s database. Please check your records and call the Sector Operations Contact Centre with the correct details so that adjustments can be made. If the Contract number is correct then Sector Operations will need to check that the Doctor’s APC is still valid and covers the dates of service of the claim.

Error 0542 – Practitioner hours exceeded

This means the hours claimed for the doctor have exceeded 27 hours per week – this is the maximum number of hours that a doctor can claim per week. Check the dates of service have not been covered in a previous claim, if you cannot locate any overlap the Sector Operations Contact Centre will be able to assist you.

Error 0543 – Practice-nurse hours exceeded

This means the hours claimed for the nurse has exceeded 40 hours per week – this is the maximum number of nurse hours that can be claimed per week. Check the dates of service have not been covered in a previous claim, if you cannot locate any overlap the Sector Operations Contact Centre will be able to assist you.

Can Sector Operations back date practice nurse approval?

Sector Operations will approve a nurse or doctor’s hours from the date we receive the application. We are unable to back date this with out special approval from your DHB.

Does Sector Operations pay for a practice nurse’s statutory holidays?

The practice nurse subsidy is only available to cover the hours where actual practice nurse duties are performed – you can not claim the subsidy for holiday pay (statutory holidays or annual leave) sick leave, study leave etc. If the hours were not worked they can not be claimed.

Why do you need a job description with the application for a new nurse?

The practice nurse subsidy is provided to help pay for actual nurse work – Sector Operations requires a job description to ensure the nurse is not being hired for reception duties or anything else that is not performing the duties of a practice nurse.

Our doctor works at another clinic every now and then – they have claimed some of our doctor’s practice nurse subsidy – what can we do?

Sector Operations works on a first in, first served basis – if the other clinic has made a legitimate claim (ie, they are not claiming more hours than they should) prior to the usual clinic’s claim, then Sector Operations are obliged pay that claim. Claimants are advised to seek reimbursement from the other clinic.

We are a large clinic and we would like to group our practice nurse claims together, rather than claim them under each doctor – is this possible?

Sector Operations is in the process of moving as many clinics as possible away from claiming the practice nurse subsidy as a clinic. Certain large A&E clinics have been given permission to continue claiming like this due to the transitory nature of their medical staff, if you believe your clinic should be able to claim in this way you can apply in writing to your DHB.

We have just completed a PN claim, but one of our nurses is away/on holiday/sick – can we pp sign it?

If it is not possible to get the nurse to sign it themselves then the practice manager or Doctor can pp sign it for them - this should only be done in exceptional circumstances.

Our doctor’s PN claims are being paid into their personal account along with their GMS and IMMS – can we separate these out and pay them into the practice account?

You can do this, but you will need to set up a payee number with Sector Operations for your practice – this number can be used for practice nurse claims and rural ranking payments – it cannot be used for GMS or IMMS.

We have a locum in, how should we claim PN for them?

As for all locum claims you should use the NZMC and payee number of the host doctor – the locum will be working under the Section 51 of the host and will use their eligibility.

Where should I send my claims?

Send all completed claim forms to

Practice Nurse Subsidy
Sector Operations
PO Box 1043

I have run out of claim forms/application forms, where can I get some more?

Call Sector Operations on 0800 353 2425 – option 2. You will need to have your payee number at hand.

Please note: you should not rely solely on the answers provided here; the contracts applicable to each provider and all relevant legislation must be consulted to determine the full rights & liabilities applicable to any service provider or funder.

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