Are you prepared for the NHS funding changes?
As well as clinical changes, dentists in Scotland need to be aware of their financial responsibilities too, Says louise Grant of EQ Accountants
The Scottish Government has recently developed an Oral Health Improvement Plan to assess patients based on risk, and address the link between deprivation and ill-health. It is clear from reading through the consultation papers that they are looking to implement changes towards a more preventive system for the NHS dental service together with simplifying the NHS dental charges.
The full report is available to download via www.scottishdental.org
In summary, the proposed financial changes as per the consultation will be:
- A new system of capitation payments to support preventive care and treatment in children and young adults, supported by monitoring
- A new system of enhanced continuing-care payments to support the introduction of Oral Health Risk Assessments for
- A simplified set of item of service payments for restorative care and treatment
- Changes to the General Dental Practice Allowance to incentivise general dental practices with patients from more deprived communities
- Changes to the reimbursement of rental costs to ensure that payments are based on an appropriate size of practice and taking into consideration its location
- A new NHS commitment criteria
- A single quality-based practice allowance which reflects the unique circumstances faced in both remote and rural areas and deprived communities.
It is extremely important that dental professionals address changes to their clinical responsibilities, but they must remember that they are also running a business and so must plan for these financial changes too. Please be aware that if you do nothing, it is only evident that your income levels will fall, resulting in lower profits and ultimately, lower remuneration for you.
At EQ Healthcare our experts can help you and your business plan for these changes to ensure your income levels are not adversely affected. It is critical to start planning immediately by communicating the changes to patients and staff and setting realistic targets for your practice and patients.
For more information or support with these changes, get in touch with our EQ Healthcare team on 01382 312 100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org