The PSNC recently announced that significant changes to the NMS service – changes that both reflect the ongoing shift towards a service led funding model and acknowledge the extreme difficulty of conducting face to face services during the worst of the pandemic.
As of September 1st the list of conditions covered by the service has expanded significantly and now includes asthma and COPD, diabetes (type 2) hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, osteoporosis, gout, glaucoma, epilepsy, parkinson’s disease, urinary incontinence/retention, heart failure, acute coronary syndrome, atrial fibrillation, long term risks of venous thromboembolism/embolism, stroke / transient ischemic attack, and coronary heart disease (a list of medicines suitable for NMS is available here).
The maximum number of NMS deliverable per thousand items has been adjusted in line with this, up to 10 NMS per thousand items. This makes the opportunity and workload more significant and good management of your NMS process more vital than ever – on the one hand the increased target means the NMS service can now generate double the income for your branches, but on the other hand those who don’t increase services delivered may find themselves paid out at a lower banding scale, as with the target doubling the numbers required to hit payment thresholds will also double.
NMS services for patients
The biggest immediate opportunity in the announcement though comes with the opportunity to deliver NMS services to patients who were dispensed qualifying medicines during the period but not engaged at the time – the NHS here recognising that during many periods of the pandemic this would have been either impossible, or against the best interests of patients when shielding or minimising contact was advisable.
The Catch Up service is suitable for patients who have had a new medicine prescribed between April 1st 2020 and 31st August 2021. Patients prescribed a medicine that qualify as of the Sept 1st announcement are also eligible.
In effect this creates a limited window of huge opportunity for contractors (the Catch Up can only be offered from the date of the announcement until 31st March 2022). For a typical branch, the financial value of actioning this within that timeframe could easily exceed £10,000. The Catch Up has also been made significantly easier to complete – in instances where a patient is identified as having had no issues with the medication during the engagement/intervention stage the pharmacist can document this and deem the NMS to be completed and claimed for.
The need for a signed patient consent form has also been waived allowing the entire NMS to be conducted without the patient ever setting foot in the pharmacy (exception: appliance/inhaler techniques).
Though this announcement is a huge opportunity for all, in likelihood it will be left to those most rapidly able to adjust workflows, management focus and execute systematically who will benefit the most. RWA is passionate about supporting community pharmacy to deliver patient services and to seize this and all other opportunities afforded through the funding contract.
Our support is tailored to provide groups from size 4 branches and up the kind of high class analytics and data tools that make it straightforward to maximise the value of these opportunities: we have already created and rolled out to our customer base a set of reports that allow them not only to identify these opportunities, but provide actionable reports for engaging patients, and are customise to maximise your return by achieving other linked PQS targets simultaneously.
Find out more about community pharmacy post COVID.
Find out in this video by Adele Curran and Paul Counter on how RWA's reporting tool can help you effectively identify these opportunities within a few clicks:
For more details, please contact your RWA customer success manager.If you are not yet a RWA customer but wish to explore more of this opportunity, please contact us here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we will get in touch with you with more information.