Contractor Notice: SSP Endorsement Errors

Contractor Notice: SSP Endorsement Errors

October 14, 2019

Following the announcement of the first Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) issued on 3rd October 2019 for Fluoxetine capsules, PSNC has been working with NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) to understand if claims are being submitted in accordance with SSP endorsement guidance. During the month of October, NHSBSA has received a number of EPS messages which do not clearly indicate the relevant endorsed information required for a valid SSP claim. The NHSBSA has provided some actual examples below of incorrectly endorsed SSP claims submitted using EPS.

To avoid any delays to payment or non-payment for incorrectly endorsed SSPs claims, PSNC recommends contractors to retrieve any submitted EPS claim messages by using the claim amend facility where PMR systems allow. For SSP01, SSP02 and SSP03, contractors have until the 31st October to rectify any incomplete or inaccurate SSP endorsements using the EPS claim amend facility
1.                   Endorsement example: SSP for Fluoxetine 30mg capsules (SSP02)
Incorrect formulation endorsed Correct endorsement
For every Fluoxetine 30mg capsule, SSP02 allows a pharmacist to supply:
1 x Fluoxetine 10mg tablet PLUS 1 x Fluoxetine 20mg capsule.The endorsement message above indicates that:
Fluoxetine 10mg capsules PLUS Fluoxetine 20mg capsules were supplied.Conclusion: SSP02 does not permit supply of Fluoxetine 10mg capsules so this SSP claim is invalid.
2.                   Endorsement example: SSP for Fluoxetine 40mg capsules (SSP03)
Missing quantity endorsement Correct endorsement

For every Fluoxetine 40mg capsule, SSP03 allows a pharmacist to supply:

2 x Fluoxetine 20mg capsules.

In this example, Fluoxetine 40mg capsules x 60 are prescribed. Under SSP03, the pharmacist would be required to supply a quantity equivalent to the number of days prescribed on the original prescription i.e. Fluoxetine 20mg capsules x 120 capsules.  A quantity of 30 has been endorsed by the pharmacist, which could either indicate:

  1. the pack size used for supply, or
  2. that the quantity supplied is less than the number of days specified on original prescription.

Conclusion: Whilst the correct formulation has been endorsed as per SSP03; the quantity has not been doubled up to cover the original order. This SSP claim is invalid

3.                   Endorsement example: SSP for Fluoxetine 40mg capsules (SSP03)
Incomplete endorsement Correct endorsement
For every Fluoxetine 40mg capsule, SSP03 allows a pharmacist to supply:
2 x Fluoxetine 20mg capsules.In this example, the pharmacist has not indicated the strength of the alternative supplied.  The endorsement of the supplier / manufacturer ‘Relonchem’ is not required as payment is based on the Part VIII Drug Tariff price.Conclusion: Assuming the pharmacist supplied Fluoxetine 20mg capsules, the quantity is correctly endorsed as 112. However, no strength has been endorsed meaning this SSP claim is incomplete
PSNC Top Tips:

  • Always double check that SSP endorsements reflects the requirements outlined in the corresponding SSP (remember to include ‘NCSO’ endorsement);
  • Endorse details of the drug supplied under 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;
  • 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.
  • There is no requirement in the current SSP to endorse supplier or manufacturer information as reimbursement is based on the Part VIII Drug Tariff price.
  • If there are character restrictions in the NCSO endorsement free-text box field of the EPS claim message, contractors are advised to endorse using the corresponding dispensing token instead – remember to mark the original item on the electronic claim message as ‘Not Dispensed’ so as to avoid double claiming.
  • There is no requirement for contractors to endorse the pharmacist’s initials, date for SPP claim or the SSP number. Where the contractor has the ability, these pre-populated fields may be deleted to help free up space to provide a comprehensive endorsement.
  • Check that the correct number of patient charges are collected and declared on the end of month FP34C submission form.

Pharmacy teams are reminded that SSP01, SSP02 and SSP03 are due to expire on 31st October 2019 and supply under these SSPs can only be made within the period of validity.

The expiry date may be brought forward or extended, and the content may be amended throughout this period. Pharmacists should ensure they are using the current version of an SSP before supplying an alternative product. Current versions of SSPs can be found here.

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