Targets for the care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis are to be included in the QOF for the first time, under new proposals published by NICE today.
There are five proposed indicators on monitoring and reviewing patients with the disease. These would reward practices for setting up a register for patients over 16 with the condition, recording their CRP or ESR, assessing for fracture risk, assessing cardiovascular risk (for those aged 30 to 84) and conducting an annual review with the patient present.
In addition, NICE is proposing that the current indicator for cancer is revised to shorten the time-frame for review and include patients with a diagnosis of recurrent or distant metastatic cancer.
These would ask GPs to review all patients given a diagnosis of cancer, or recurrent or distant metastatic cancer in the preceding 18 months, with the review conducted within three months of confirmation of diagnosis instead of the current six months.
Thresholds on all of the 20 proposed indicators should be set once data is returned from pilot practices later this year. The QOF indicator advisory committee meets again in June to decide which of the proposed indicators to take forward next year.