QOF targets face axe under NICE plans

QOF indicators that incentivise GPs to take blood pressure readings from patients with kidney disease or hypertension may be axed from 2012/13.

At a meeting in Manchester, NICE’s QOF advisory committee backed the retirement of indicators CKD2 and BP4.

CKD2, worth six points, requires practices to record the percentage of patients who have had BP recorded in the last 15 months.

BP4, worth 18 points, records the percentage of hypertension patients who have had a BP check in the last nine months.

As with previously retired indicators, the committee suggested practices should continue to monitor these areas once QOF payments were dropped.

NHS Employers and the GPC will now need to negotiate to decide whether to accept the committee’s recommendations, and whether to reallocate the points to new or existing indicators.

The committee also considered whether to retire stroke indicator STR7, which incentivises cholesterol checks in patients with TIA or stroke.

NICE’s QOF review committee decided the indicator should not be withdrawn, but that it would look into why achievement rates for this indicator are low and exception reporting is high.

The committee also decided to include DEP1 in its review of depression indicators.

The committee backed the development of indicators for pulmonary rehabilitation in COPD, cardiac rehabilitation for heart failure and MI patients and erectile dysfunction in diabetes.

These indicators will now be piloted before consideration for inclusion in the 2013/14 QOF.

The committee rejected proposals for indicators for lower urinary tract symptoms in men and urinary incontinence in women.

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