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Ask the experts: Our global sum is wrong

Lynne Abbess explains what a practice should do if it believes it's global sum is too low.

Question: I believe our GMS global sum is too low, based upon comparisons with other local practices. Can we get it increased? Since 2004 our practice has moved from low performing to high performing.

Answer: The test to apply is not a straight comparison with neighbouring practices, but an analysis of whether the global sum in your practice is being paid at the correct level, taking account of the practice list size and the services provided. 

Neighbouring practices may receive an artificially high global sum based on the level of their minimum practice income guarantee (MPIG) established in 2004.  

Also, if your practice’s MPIG is very low this might well explain the difference.

Given the practice has transformed itself since 2004 and is now high performing, at least some additional income would have been derived through QOF points, so once again a straight comparison of the global sum does not necessarily reflect the complete picture. 

To assess your practice’s position, I recommended appointing a specialist firm of accountants to identify whether there is hard evidence on which to argue that your global sum is too low. 

If an accountant’s report shows that uplifting your global sum is justified, this would enable you to negotiate on the basis of having relevant figures to back your claim.

  • Lynne Abbess is a partner and head of the practitioner team in specialist healthcare solicitors Hempsons. For details of how to ask Lynne your question, click here.

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