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Practices with high disease prevalence may do particularly well out of the GMS contract, new data suggests.

The analysis of 540 practices found a positive correlation between a practice's prevalence in areas such as stroke, mental health, asthma and CHD, and its quality scores.

The research challenges suggestions that under the square root formula, practices with high prevalence could lose out.

Study leader Dr Tony Snell, medical director of Birmingham and Black Country SHA, said: 'If a practice has high prevalence the data suggests it would achieve more income for two reasons ­ one that it is a high achiever and two that it has high prevalence.'

GPC chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said low-scoring practices might struggle with diagnosis.

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