PhAS update affecting all contractors receiving PhAS payments

PhAS update affecting all contractors receiving PhAS payments

May 24, 2017

The Department of Health (DH) has this week written to all pharmacies receiving Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) payments with corrected payments due to them under the scheme.

The PhAS was imposed on 20 October 2016 and introduced on 1 December 2016.

Community pharmacy contractors were informed at the end of March 2017 that PSNC had identified issues with the PhAS payments.

The extent of the problems has now become clear. The problems arose because DH had not calculated PhAS payments in accordance with the Drug Tariff and this has led to inaccurate payments being made to contractors.

DH has now reviewed all PhAS payment calculations and has indicated that it is correcting errors in its methodology to make its calculations consistent with the provision in the Drug Tariff.

The problems include the following:

  • DH used an estimate of 2015/16 remuneration rather than the actual remuneration that was paid to each pharmacy.
  • DH did not use the fee levels at April 2016 to calculate estimated remuneration between April – November 2016.
  • In certain cases, DH double counted the Quality Payment.

The correct PhAS payments will be made from the month of March 2017 onwards.

DH identified that in the three months before March 2017 under-payments were made to some contractors and over-payments were made to others. DH has said it will calculate an adjustment payment for any contractor who has been underpaid in these months, to make up the shortfall; and it will not seek to recover any overpayments made in these months.

Contractors receiving PhAS payments are advised to wait for their letters from DH setting out the detail of the corrections and, crucially, how these will affect their PhAS payments.

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