RCGP tool will offer quick QOF wins for osteoporosis

Guidance on osteoporosis patients could help GP practices hit efficiency targets and increase QOF points.

Dr Davenport: admissions cut
Dr Davenport: admissions cut

GPs will be helped to achieve easy wins on efficiency targets and QOF points worth more than £5,000 by resources developed by the RCGP.

The RCGP and the National Osteoporosis Society have developed online osteoporosis resources for primary care.

From April, nine points will be available in QOF for osteoporosis. Practices will be paid for recording whether patients aged over 50 years have had a fragility fracture, have had a confirmed osteoporosis diagnosis and are being treated with a bone-sparing agent. The resources are designed to help GPs achieve this.

Dr Graham Davenport, RCGP clinical champion for osteoporosis, said improving services for osteoporosis also represented a 'quick kill' in terms of cutting hospital admissions.

He said a lot of commissioning groups were looking to set up osteoporosis services as part of the quality and productivity indicators (QP) introduced in the QOF for 2011/12, and the resources would help with that.

'It does take money to set up osteoporosis services, but what you need to look at first are the "quick kill" ones,' he said. 'The "quick kill" situation is improving falls, giving adequate vitamin D and reducing emergency admissions into hospital.'

Changes to other services can take years to deliver savings, but improving osteoporosis treatment 'will immediately start releasing savings and then you can help to develop the other services,' he said.

Dr Davenport said that the new osteoporosis indicators were welcome, but income from them would not represent a 'big sum' for practices.

'For the osteoporosis indicators it is something like £1,500 for an average practice,' he said. 'But if you look at the QP indicators, you're looking at 30 QOF points if GPs achieve reductions in emergency admissions. So there is much more of an incentive there, though it is more work for the practice.'

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