This morning Pulse has reported that ‘the EMIS Web system failed to report updated QOF data for the last day of the financial year’ and as a result ‘all GP practices in England will have their QOF payments recalculated’ – because national averages for prevalence could be lower than they should be.
Earlier in the year INPS launched a consulting service to help GP practices increase their prevalence. We called this the £5k Challenge because of our confidence to identify at least £5,000 of additional practice income. This confidence was well judged because to date we have found an average of £5,126 per practice with individual results ranging from £1,780 to £11,000.
An interesting observation has been that most practices’ real prevalence is higher than the national average. This is because they have patients with conditions such as asthma, COPD, depression or heart failure but do not have the diagnosis coded on their records. The cohort of practices that have made use of the £5k Challenge so far represents all kinds of practice; large and small, rural and urban. If this situation is typical of all practices, and there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be the case, the conclusion has to be that real national prevalence averages are in actual fact higher than reported.
This isn’t just about practice income though. More importantly, adding the missing diagnosis to a patient’s record will help to ensure they receive appropriate care and advice, and in today’s environment of record sharing and interoperating systems an awareness of the diagnosis and corresponding care plans can be extended to the whole healthcare team.
Click here to find out more about the £5k Challenge.