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Telehealth DES reporting requirements could lose practices money, GPC warns

The reporting requirements for practices undertaking the remote-care monitoring DES are ‘too bureaucratic’ and could end up losing practices money if they do not have the in-house capacity to manage it, the GPC has warned.

The template for the DES, devised by NHS England, has recently been published on the BMA website, and has led to warnings from GP leaders that the DES may not be value for money for many practices at just 21p per patient, or £1,478 for an average-sized GP practice.

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey has now warned practices that they should not spend more money on the DES than they would get in return.

He said: ‘The amount of resource tied into this DES and amount of work required managing it, recording and reporting is way in excess of the resources available.’

‘GPs will need to look closely at whether they have the resources. If they don’t they could lose money. They need to make sure they don’t spend more money on doing it than they would get back.’

As part of its GP contract ‘survival guide’ series, published continually online, the GPC said: ‘The GPC does not believe that the remote monitoring arrangements set out in the new enhanced service will deliver the practice workload benefits that the Government claims.’

It further called on the Government to reconsider the introduction of the scheme or rolling it into the new online DES in a more limited form - a suggestion the Government had previously dismissed.

The GPC added: ‘The new enhanced service is intended to help prepare practices for remote care monitoring in 2014/15. It is therefore a platform for increased requirements next year. Nevertheless, the GPC considers the new DES to be very bureaucratic.’

It concluded that practices ‘will want to consider this funding (gross) against the anticipated costs of the DES requirements. We believe that some practices will consider that it is simply not worth undertaking.’

Readers' comments (1)

  • We have also worked out the alcohol DES is not worth it. We are a large practice of nearly 20 000 patients. However, the alcohol DES would net us little over £2000 as it is based on new registrations based on £2.38 per patient. However, the work that would go into fulfilling the 'letter of this DES' would also likely be a loss making endeavour. Therefore, this looks like two DES' that are simply not worth it. By the way, this does not mean we will not offer support to heavy drinkers. We will continue to support them - it is just not worth screening and coding every new registration as we do not have the resources for this.

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