Variation in GP practices' income1st November 2012
New evidence has emerged of wide variations in the amount GP practices are paid.
Analysis by HSJ revealed some GP practices are paid substantially more than others, regardless of the number and type of patients they have.
One trend that emerged was in the relationship between practice funding and the experience of patients, but there was no evidence that high earners were successful in reducing reliance on emergency hospital care.
The journal looked at income of 3,046 of the 8,300 GP practices in England for 2011-12, dividing the income by the number of patients and weighting the calculations along similar lines used by the Department of Health to calculate GP contracts by factoring in age and deprivation.
It showed that practice income range for £65 to £320 per patient with much of the variation down to performance rewards under the quality and outcomes framework, and practices providing services beyond core contract requirements.
But HSJ found that when performance rewards and additional services were excluded from calculations, the variation was about £30-£300.
Many of the practices earning more per head of weighted population are those holding primary medical services (PMS) contracts, which can be tailored by their primary care trust, as opposed to nationally determined general medical services contracts.
Charles Alessi, chair of the National Association of Primary Care, which represents many PMS practices, said that additional payments were justified for those practices that did more for their patients.
The Department of Health said practice income varied “according to the needs and circumstances” in individual communities.
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Title: Variation in GP practices' income
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 23084
Date Added: 1st Nov 2012