NICE to consider ambulatory BP monitor target for QOF

NICE is set to consider ambulatory BP monitoring for hypertension for the QOF, the institute has revealed.

The decision comes after NICE published updated guidance for hypertension last August. This recommended using ambulatory BP monitoring to confirm a diagnosis.

New targets for alcohol and dementia will also be discussed at a meeting in Manchester next month.

The indicators could be introduced in the QOF in 2014/15 if approved for piloting and then adopted by negotiators.

NICE said the meeting will also discuss the results of pilots of indicators for the QOF 2013/14.

The proposed indicators, announced in February, include rheumatoid arthritis for the first time, as well as indicators for diabetes, cancer and asthma.

In addition, existing indicators in 20 clinical areas will be under review, including CKD, heart failure and obesity.

It will be the first meeting since June last year after NICE scrapped its December 2011 public meeting.

At the time, NICE said the meeting was cancelled to allow NICE's internal team time to examine which quality standards would be put forward.

The 2014/15 indicators are the first to be proposed by NICE alone and not by external stakeholders such as GPSIs or charities.

Back in December, NICE insisted that the process was still 'open and transparent' and would still consulted on before being sent to negotiators.

It comes just a few days after LMCs declared that QOF 'box-ticking' has become so arduous that it now interferes with GPs' ability to deliver traditional primary care and should be frozen for two years in light of commissioning reforms.

The GPC said it will try to negotiate a freeze, but said it would be 'tricky'.

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