IT error forces £3,000 adjustment to GP QOF payments

GP QOF payments will be adjusted by up to £3,000 per average practice following data collection problems with a leading practice IT system, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has said.

IT: error could alter QOF payments
IT: error could alter QOF payments

Problems collecting QOF data from EMIS web have delayed GP end-of-year payments and mean current calculations for aspiration payments are incorrect.

QOF data is submitted to the Calculating Quality Reporting System (CQRS) to allow payments to be calculated.

But data from EMIS Web users – used by 4,261 practices – was not submitted for 31 March, meaning that data for these practices is incorrect.

The missing information has also skewed national prevalence figures, which will need to be recalculated once all the data has been submitted.

Final end-of-year payments have been affected, and a HSCIC bulletin says that next year’s QOF aspiration payment is also incorrect.

Payments will need to be adjusted by 0-2% although the ‘exact scale of the impact’ is impossible to determine, HSCIC predicts. A 2% swing in QOF income could mean around £3,000 per average practice.

Data error

Seven practices were given erroneous payment information before HSCIC realised the error.

‘As soon as the HSCIC was aware of the situation it contacted area teams to make clear that these needed to be halted for the moment and we communicated with practices to let them know of our plan to address the issue,’ a spokeswoman for HSCIC said.

Data will be available on GP systems in the week starting 20 April, after which area teams can confirm payment amounts with practices.

EMIS managing director Matt Murphy said that the data collection was due to a ‘configuration error’.

A software update will be done on 10-12 April, with the QOF data collection taking place the following week.

‘We are extremely sorry that this has happened, and would like to apologise to practices for the delay in the availability of final QOF figures. We would like to reassure them that everything is being done to minimise inconvenience to practices,’ Mr Murphy said.

‘HSCIC have made arrangements as part of their standard contingency planning to ensure that all practices receive their estimated aspiration payments and that nobody is out of pocket as a result of this issue.’

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