NHS Digital has published new dispensing feescales for GMS contractors in England and Wales as of 1 October 2022.
Practices are paid for each item they dispense, with a dispensing fee calculated per doctor using a scale depending on how many items are dispensed.
The new scale in place from October ranges from 286.8p per prescribed item for up to 454 items per month, to 254p per item for over 4,552 items per month.
This is an increase from the range of 247.7p per item to 219.3p per item respectively that was in place from April.
There are many opportunities to boost income from fees that you can claim as a non-dispensing and dispensing practice, advises Dr Richard West, a GP partner in Suffolk and chair of the Dispensing Doctors’ Association.
In his guide How to boost income and cut costs from dispensing he says, for example, that by distributing dispensing evenly across doctors, practices will receive more income than if some have a large number of patients they dispense to, and others only a very few.
‘You can easily fall into this trap if patients are allocated to doctors on a geographic basis,’ he says. Yet, this can lead to a practice receiving less funding since there is a higher fee for fewer items prescribed.
Another point to consider is how long each prescription lasts. If a practice does 28-day prescribing, it will receive 13 fees across a year for this time period. However, if doctors do three-month prescribing, this will drop to only four fees a year.
However, Dr West warns: ‘Remember you must dispense for the same time as is on the prescription and you cannot unnecessarily break this into multiple prescriptions to boost your fees.’