Exclusive: 41% of GPs report falling income from private and professional fees

More than 40% of practices have reported a fall in income from private and professional fees over the past year, according to research by our sister site Medeconomics.

41% said income had decreased, 31% said income levels were unchanged, and 20% did not know
41% said income had decreased, 31% said income levels were unchanged, and 20% did not know

The annual Medeconomics Fees Survey 2014 collected information from practices across the UK on the rates they charge for 18 commonly requested services.

More than 680 respondents from across the UK submitted figures, with 299 respondents answering a supplementary question about changes in practice income from fees during 2013. Of these, 41% said income had decreased, 31% said income levels were unchanged, and 20% did not know.

The remaining 8% said their practices had increased income from fees, mostly through growing demand for their services but also because they were adopting a more business-like approach to the charging and collection of fees.

As one respondent said: ‘We now charge for virtually all certificates and reports whereas in the past we were quite charitable. But the volume of this type of request has increased steadily in recent years whilst income from routine GP work has reduced.’

When respondents were asked whether they would be taking steps to increase practice income from fees in 2014, 20% of those who had seen a fall in the past year were now planning to take action.

Strategies included reviewing and increasing their rates, becoming more effective at charging and collecting fees, and also reducing rates to improve their competitiveness against other local businesses.

* Interested in knowing more? Would you like to subscribe to Medeconomics? Take a free site tour. Subscribers can view full details of the survey and a chart of the latest average fees being charged by practices around the UK for non-NHS services over the past year.

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