And the answer is a resounding YES! ePACT2!
If you’re wondering what on earth we’re talking about, you’re definitely not the only one.
Practice managers have signed up to our toolkit in droves. But there are still a significant number of PMs who are scratching their heads, wondering why we keep asking if they have access to their ePACT2 data? ePACT2… it doesn’t sound particularly enticing. Or does it?
You might be surprised to discover that it’s an incredibly powerful tool in any PM’s arsenal. ePACT2 data will tell you about all your prescribing habits, down to the finest details of individual prescription items. With increasing pressure to reduce prescribing budgets, ePACT2 reports can be a brilliant tool in helping you to analyse your practice’s prescribing habits.
Importantly for your income, you’ll also discover a handy report that will show you items paid to your practice as ‘personally administered’.
If you’re a dispensing practice, you won’t find a personally administered items report all that helpful – mainly because anything you claim that’s personally administered is listed, whether or not it was personally administered. What you can do, though, is to make sure the report shows the basic cost of the drugs and how that compares to what you’re paying for them.
If you’re a prescribing-only practice, this is where the magic happens. Calling it ‘magic’ might be overstating the case, but this report will certainly answer a lot of your questions – and will probably answer questions you didn’t even know you had!
In the personally administered items report, you should be able to see the quantities paid and the net ingredient cost (the basic price of drugs). Checking this report should ensure that all claimed items are paid to you. In the case of most practices, just a couple of underpaid items can mean that you lose money, so it’s more important than you might imagine.
While spending time poring over reports might seem like a waste of an afternoon, we think most practices will notice missing items if they check their historical claims. Ideally, you could ask someone else to have a look at the reports and identify the discrepancies.
While our prices and prescribing fees are correct from May 2020, using our tool should help you to quickly identify lines you need to double-check. If you’d like to find out more about how our tool works, you might find this helpful here
By replicating your back claims (and this could be up to six years), you should be able to run down the report and highlight any figures that don’t match. You would then check only the items that don’t match.
When it comes to historical claims, it could be the basic price, as per the drug tariff, that has changed, or it could be the amount you claimed wasn’t what you were paid.
Check the drug tariff for the basic cost of drugs for the month and year for which you claimed, and check the quantity. If you’ve examined these and the amount you’ve been paid appears to be incorrect, then you can ask NHSBSA to check this for you. It’s important to remember that while you might have been underpaid, you could also have been overpaid, so you need to be careful to declare errors in both directions.
Of course, this will only help you to reconcile your claims; it won’t help you to make sure you’re claiming all the items you should. We think most practices are missing things they could be claiming – and for practices signing up for our tool, we’re providing some information on how to identify potential missing income.