From October, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) will ask selected pharmacy owners to submit the signed patient consent forms that correspond with their MUR payment claims.
NHS BSA said the six-month “proof of concept” pilot aims to “standardise” the current funding approach for advanced pharmacy services.
“A lack of consistency” across England in the monitoring of how advanced pharmacy services are delivered and claimed for prompted the need for a more “centralised approach” to pharmacy’s post-payment verification methods, it explained.
The pilot will begin with the MUR service, but “other advanced services will be included in due course”, NHS BSA confirmed.
"Outliers" will be sampled
Speaking to C+D this morning (September 29), Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) director of NHS services Alastair Buxton said a "sample" of pharmacies will be selected to take part in the pilot via two approaches.
As well as picking pharmacies to ensure “good geographical coverage across England”, any contractors who are identified as an “outlier in terms of the number of MURs claimed for that month” will be contacted, Mr Buxton said.
“That is not making the assumption that claiming lots of MURs in any month is wrong, or evidence of fraud, but inevitably they are of higher risk of something having gone on, so [auditors] will always look at outliers,” he stressed.
Mr Buxton said if the six-month MUR pilot goes well, he expects the payment verification approach to be rolled out to the new medicine service and national flu service.
NHS BSA stressed that only pharmacy contractors contacted by the organisation need to submit their MUR patient consent forms.
It advised contractors to "review how they currently file signed patient consent forms", ready for the pilot.