Are you submitting Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP) claims using tokens correctly?

Are you submitting Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP) claims using tokens correctly?

August 25, 2020

We have received feedback from NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) that EPS tokens used to make claims for any supplies made against Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) are not being submitted correctly by some contractors.

For electronic prescriptions, contractors have the option to endorse and submit SSP claims either electronically or manually using EPS tokens. Pharmacy contractors are reminded that when using tokens to submit SSP claims, the tokens must be placed in the red separator on top of the relevant paid/exempt prescription bundle in a secure manner (for example, by securing the red separator to the main prescription bundle with an elastic band to avoid any tokens and paper prescriptions from slipping out of the separator during transit) before submitting to NHSBSA in the usual way. The NHSBSA require any tokens with SSP claims to be placed securely in the red separator so that they are seen by an operator. If tokens with SSP claims are not placed in the red separator and are mixed in with the other tokens for non-payment (i.e. signed, paid and exempt tokens except for those of patients who are age-exempt), these will not be processed for payment by the NHSBSA.

The table below shows which tokens need to be submitted to NHSBSA at the end of the month

Tokens for payment – SSP tokens submitted in the red separator Tokens for non-payment – tokens to submit with the bundle but not included in the red separator Tokens that are NOT required to be submitted to NHSBSA
1. NCSO endorsed tokens with SSP claims must be placed in the red separator on top of the relevant paid/exempt prescription bundle in a secure manner (for example, by securing the red separator to the main prescription bundle with an elastic band to avoid any tokens and paper prescriptions from slipping out of the separator during transit)  for end of month submission

1. Tokens with a paid declaration indicating that a patient has paid for their prescription(s)

2. Unless a patients’ exemption has been confirmed by RTEC*, any tokens capturing an exemption declaration (excluding age-exemption) must be submitted to the NHSBSA for exemption checking purposes
*Real Time Exemption Checking

3. Tokens which have a signature of collector of Schedule 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs can be submitted to NHSBSA

Contractors should ensure that the box on the FP34C submission document, to indicate that tokens have been sent in, is ticked. All tokens for non-payment should be  kept separate at the top of the end of month batch as these aren’t processed for payment by the NHSBSA

1. Tokens which are for age exempt patients (60 and over or under 16), as this exemption is automatically captured through the patient’s date of birth

2. Tokens which are for contraceptive-only items. (Note. Any prescriptions with a mixture of contraceptives and non-contraceptives prescribed will still require a token to be submitted)

If using tokens for SSP claims, either the prescribing or dispensing token can be used to endorse the required information and capture the patient declaration before submitting the tokens to the NHSBSA in the red separator. Contractors should submit any claims for the SSPs in the usual manner, i.e. by the 5th of the month following that in which supply was made. Please note that SSPs cannot be supplied past the period of SSP validity. Any other items on the same prescription form (including any items that are owing) can continue to be dispensed as usual but must be submitted for payment within three months of expiry of the SSP. Any other items on the same prescription form (including any items that are owing) can continue to be dispensed as usual but must be submitted for payment within three months of expiry of the SSP.

 

All paper FP10 forms and EPS tokens (only where using the token for endorsement purposes) should be placed in the front of the red separator for the end-of-month submission bundle. 


Record keeping

There is no separate formal declaration required of monthly SSP claims submitted on the FP34C submission document or via the digital submission form using Manage Your Service (MYS). Contractors are advised to keep a record of all monthly SSP claims submitted for payment (including any NCSO-endorsed paper prescriptions, tokens and electronic claim messages) for reconciliation against the Schedule of Payments.

Reimbursement and remuneration of SSPs

SSP payments can be found on the second page of the monthly Schedule of Payments under the section ‘Details of other amounts authorised’. The SSP payments will appear as:

  • SSP Remuneration – this is monthly total value of all SSP fees (currently £5.35 per item). In addition to the SSP fee, contractors also receive a Single Activity Fee (currently £1.27) for every SSP claim processed by the NHSBSA.
  • SSP Reimbursement – this is the monthly total VAT element of SSPs; the total SSP drug reimbursement value (excluding VAT) is incorporated into the combined ‘Total of drug and appliance costs’ and is not itemised separately in the Schedules.

What to do if you believe you have not been paid accurately for any SSP claims submitted?

Where pharmacy teams have correctly endorsed and submitted a claim for an SSP but the Schedule of Payment does not indicate the correct number of SSP fees expected, contractors are advised to check their Prescription Item reports to identify which of the SSP claims were successfully processed by the NHSBSA. If the reasons for any non-payment of SSPs cannot be established, contractors are advised to contact NHSBSA Prescription Services team on 0300 330 349 or email nhsbsa.prescriptionservices@nhsbsa.nhs.uk.

If contractors are confident that payment for any SSPs claimed has been incorrectly calculated by NHSBSA, a bundle re-check request can be submitted.  If the issue remains unresolved, contractors should contact PSNC’s Dispensing and Supply Team on 0203 1220 810 or email info@psnc.org.uk for further advice.

Useful resources

The following resources have been developed to support pharmacy teams in using these protocols.

Live SSPs

NHSBSA’s page on Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs)

PSNC Briefing 023/19: Serious Shortage Protocols – A guide for community pharmacy teams



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