This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Why the prevalence formula is so unfair

I wonder if I might help my colleagues to understand the unfairness of the prevalence formula with the following worked examples.

Prevalence payment calculation

5,891 = average practice size

NP = national prevalence

P = practice prevalence

PF = prevalence factor = sq root of P

NP

Consider a quiet university four-partner practice

with 6,000 patients:

100 diabetics, achieve 80 points

NP 3 per cent P 1.67 per cent

So, PF = 0.75

0.75 x 80 x 75 x 6,000 = £4,583

5,891

Now consider a busy urban four-partner practice

of 8,000 patients:

300 diabetics, achieve 80 points

NP 3 per cent P 3.75 per cent

So, PF = 1.12

1.12 x 80 x 75 x 8,000 = £9,125

5,891

This pays less than twice as much for three times as much work! I can't see how this is either equitable or acceptable. We are not dealing with insurance-based reactive medicine here, it is actual clinical work as recorded by observable events.

If we use just the ratio P instead of square rooting it:

NP

0.557 x xxxx = £3,403

1.25 x xxxx = £10,185

Still not quite three times as much pay but it reflects the workload better and would be more acceptable.

Dr John Fitton

Kettering

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say