Thousands of GP practices across the country face clawbacks of up to £800 on payments made last year because of a QOF calculation error dating back to 2010, as managers try to recoup overpayments.
The £1.1m cash grab by PCTs comes after an error in the QMAS system dating back seven years led to £28 million in overdue QOF payments being distributed among GPs last February.
Now final calculations of the adjustment needed to correct the error are available, the Department of Health has written to PCTs to advise them to ‘make good' any underpayments and reclaim any overpayments.
Full calculations for all practices have been published, with 512 practices underpaid and 7,677 overpaid.The average clawback per practice is £140, and the average underpayment is around £95, although one practice will have to pay back £825 to managers and another will receive a payment of over £1,100.
Richard Armstrong, head of the Primary Medical Care Commissioning Development Directorate, said: ‘The final adjustments for 2010-11 have now been calculated and PCTs are now required to take action to make the adjustments which are set out in the attached spreadsheet accompanying this letter. In making these adjustments, the legal advice we have received is clear that PCTs must make good any underpayments to practices and have no discretion around this.'
‘However, where a GP contractor has been overpaid, PCTs have the discretion over whether they reclaim these payments or not. For example, if the amount of overpayment is less than the administrative expense in reclaiming the payment, a PCT may decide not to reclaim the payment.
‘The total effect of reclaiming all underpayments would generate around £1.1m which would be a net benefit to PCTs baselines.'