Contractor Notice: SSP endorsement errors

Contractor Notice: SSP endorsement errors

July 28, 2021

Following the announcement of the new Serious Shortage Protocols (SSP) endorsement which was introduced from 1 June 2021, PSNC has been working with NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) to understand if SSP claims are being submitted in accordance with the updated SSP endorsement guidance.

During the month of June 2021, NHSBSA received a number of EPS SSP claim messages (Electronic Reimbursement Endorsement Messages (EREMs)) which did not meet the requirements for a valid SSP claim.  The main reasons for these incorrect/invalid SSP claims were due to:

  1. Incorrect item endorsed – Incorrect item endorsed was almost always the same as original prescribed item rather than the alternative supplied in accordance with a valid SSP. Majority of the SSP errors were for incorrect item endorsed.
  2. Invalid or incorrect SSP reference number endorsed – For example SSP 000, SSP (missing reference number), SSP 028 (incorrect number), SSP 05 (two instead of three digits).
  3. SSP claims for prescribed items without an active SSP – SSP endorsed against items for which an SSP did not exist.
  4. Claims for supplies made in accordance with an expired SSP:
    • No active SSP in place at the time of supply – ie SSP claimed for items on prescriptions issued after SSP expired
    • Alternative item correctly supplied during the period of SSP validity but Dispense Notification message submitted after the period of SSP validity
    • Alternative item correctly supplied during the period of SSP validity and the Dispense Notification message submitted during the period of SSP validity but the EREM or Claim Notification message submitted after the 3-month claiming window.


Examples of invalid/incorrectly endorsed SSP claims submitted via EPS:

1. Incorrect item endorsed
Incorrect SSP dispensed product endorsement (e.g. for SSP012) Correct endorsement
The example above shows that an incorrect product endorsed in the EREM. The dispensed product endorsed is the same as the prescribed product, Estradot 75 micrograms/24hours patches. In addition to the SSP reference number, the correct endorsement should include the details of the alternative product supplied in accordance with the SSP, Estraderm MX 75 microgram patch. Pharmacy contractors are reminded to check that the correct alternative product is selected and included in the EREM before a claim is submitted for payment.

 

2. Invalid or incorrect SSP reference number endorsed
Incorrect SSP number endorsement (e.g. for SSP005) Correct endorsement
The example above shows that the incorrect SSP number has been endorsed on the EREM i.e. ‘SSP 000’ has been endorsed instead of ‘SSP 005’. Pharmacy contractors are reminded that the endorsement must include ‘SSP‘ followed by the appropriate three-digit numeric code corresponding to the SSP. If an existing SSP with a two digit code is still available then the two digit code must be prefixed with a leading zero to create a three digit code.  Note supplies made in accordance with SSP05 should be endorsed as SSP 005)

 

3. SSP claims for prescribed items without any active SSP 
     SSP endorsed against items for which an SSP did not exist
Incorrect prescribed item Correct item
The example above shows an SSP claim made on a prescription for Lansoprazole 30mg gastro-resistant capsules for which no SSP has been issued. SSP007 endorsement is only applicable to prescriptions for Fluoxetine 30mg capsules. PSNC’s Live SSPs page has a list of all active and expired SSPs.

NHSBSA is issuing some guidance and support to system suppliers implementing the EPS SSP feature.  Suppliers also have some flexibility as to the extent to which they will support pharmacy team members for example, by asking users to complete any missing or incomplete SSP endorsement information if the required endorsements are not present or not in the specified format.

Note: As reported previously, during the transition period (until end of September dispensing month), NHSBSA will accept either the new ‘SSP’ or existing ‘NCSO’ endorsement for any SSP claims submitted using electronic prescriptions, EPS tokens of FP10 paper prescriptions.

 

PSNC Top Tips:

  • When supplying in accordance with these SSPs, contractors should refer to the updated endorsement guidance for each SSP available on NHSBSA’s SSP page
  • Always double check that SSP endorsements reflects the requirements outlined in the corresponding SSP (remember to include ‘SSP’ endorsement followed by the three-digit reference number)
  • Endorse details of the replacement drug(s) supplied in accorance with the SSP – not details of the drug that was originally prescribed
  • Only endorse strength(s)/formulation(s) of drugs that are covered by the SSP
  • Unless SSP is for reduced quantity, ensure the correct quantity of the alternative is endorsed to cover the equivalent number of days treatment as indicated on the original prescription
  • Ensure your endorsement is accurate and clear – NHSBSA processing staff must be able to determine what has been supplied
  • If any claims for SSPs have been endorsed incorrectly and before a claim is submitted for payment, where PMR systems allow, contractors may be able to retrieve any submitted EPS dispense notification messages by using the claim amend facility
  • Please note that SSPs cannot be supplied past the period of SSP validity. Any other items on the prescription (such as an owing) can continue to be dispensed as usual but must be submitted for payment within three months of expiry of the SSP
  • Where applicable, check that the correct number of patient charges are collected and declared on the end of month FP34C submission form

Additional information

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) updated endorsing guidance

PSNC’s SSP page and list of active SSPs

NHSBSA’s SSP page



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