QOF IT issues will not be sorted until February, says NHS Digital update
QOF issues affecting users of EMIS Web will not be fully resolved until February, according to an NHS Digital update.
GP practices had raised concerns that they would receive incorrect QOF payments and recall patients for the wrong follow-up treatments as a result of a problem with Read codes.
The problems, which have affected QOF disease registers, arose when the EMIS system translated a number of Read codes in the switch to the new SNOMED CT clinical vocabulary.
This switch was introduced for the first time in version 39 of the QOF business rules, published by NHS Digital in April. It has only affected EMIS users because TPP never implemented the changes, meaning SystmOne still runs on version 38 of the business rules.
The NHS Digital update, circulated to NHS England regional offices and CCGs to pass onto practices, says the issues ‘were due to initial incorrect mapping to SNOMED codes leading to the inclusion/exclusion of particular codes being queried by practices’ and that ‘in total, around 80 individual codes have had to be reviewed, compared to typically around 20 codes per annum’.
It adds that because of the coding issues, it will not be issuing the usual autumn business rules (version 40) but will be moving directly to the end-of-year version 41 of the rules.
The note said: ‘In QOF v41, the attached codes have been addressed and resolved, and we will be publishing the finalised business rules here in early January 2019.
‘What this means for practices: No action is needed. Data that practices may be seeing in reports within their practice system or in CQRS may currently seem inaccurate, but this will be addressed by QOF v41 in February 2019.
'This will be the version that will be used for payment.’
The news comes as Pulse revealed that QOF disease register problems have seen patients mistakenly diagnosed with cancer and dementia, adding to GP workload and potentially alarming patients.
Note: Following the publication of this article, NHS Digital has issued a statement regarding their continued position that thrombocytosis should be logged as cancer. Read the full statement here