AISMA in the news

AISMA members regularly write in the specialist GP and practice management publications, offering expert advice to doctors on the key issues of the day.

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Practice Management: March 2018

March 15, 2018

AISMA accountant Andrew Pow offers advice to practices experiencing financial issues arising from problems in the processing of income claims and pensions by Primary Care Support England. For a run-down of common issues to watch out for and tips on how to resolve them download the full article.

Practice Management: New models of care

February 16, 2018

The government’s desire for GP practices to work at scale is putting them under enormous pressure to join large organisations. AISMA committee member Andrew Pow offers a checklist for practice managers involved in new models of care. Click here to download the full article.

Locum GP? Watch out for the new pension trap

January 29, 2018

Writing on the Pulse website, AISMA accountant James Gransby explains how a three-month break from locum work can lead to a hike in pension contributions. The rules were introduced on the 2017 Locum B form, which is used to pay over monthly pension contributions to the NHS pensions agency. They affect GP locums who are members of the 2015 pension scheme. Click here to visit the Pulse website to read the article in full.

Practice Management: January 2018

January 16, 2018

Writing in the January issue of Practice Management magazine, AISMA accountant James Gransby gives an update on Making Tax Digital. Where do practice managers stand with the proposal to introduce quarterly tax returns, a key component of the new digitised tax system? Click here to download the full article

Seasonal allowances to toast your team

December 4, 2017

Writing in the November/December issue of Practice Management magazine, AISMA accountant Phil Harnby explains the tax rules for treating your team to a night out. Click here to download the full article

Accountants call for urgent reinstatement of local interface for NHS England support services

November 28, 2017

Accountants are calling for urgent consideration to be given to restoring local knowledge and contacts within primary care support services in England. A briefing submitted to GPC England by the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA), says that the centralisation of primary care support services, outsourced by NHS England to Capita, has led to the loss of local knowledge and contact base. The briefing highlighted significant concerns relating to Capita’s performance with regard to practice payments and pension administration.

Andrew Pow, AISMA board member, said: “If there is one aspect that should be considered urgently it is the need for the local support services interface to be restored, so that managers have a “go to” person to contact who can deal with issues in their area.

“This would result in returning the significant amount of lost management time to general practice so that managers can get on with the important job of managing their practices at what is a very difficult time for the sector.”

The AISMA briefing to GPC England highlighted problems in three areas; failure to pay practices in a timely manner for work performed; failure to process the correct pension deductions and update pension records; and failure to provide a clear interface between support services and GP practices to resolve issues quickly.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, BMA GP England Executive Team lead on PCSE, said:

“There have been some improvements in the way the PCSE contract has operated since its launch in 2015, largely down to continued pressure from the BMA, LMCs and other organisations. However, there has been a worrying loss of expert knowledge in key areas which AISMA highlights, especially in the administration of key accounting and financial operations. Far too many mistakes are occurring which has left practice payments, pension payments and GP training grants in a state of confusion. The BMA has made it clear to PCSE that this situation must be addressed as a matter of priority.”

Pulse feature: How GPs can limit tax charges on their pensions

November 15, 2017

Writing for the Pulse website, AISMA accountant James Gransby explains that the amount GPs are allowed to save into their pension each year before incurring a tax charge is being reduced. To find out how GPs can limit tax charges on their pensions click here to visit the Pulse website.

AISMA statement following announcement of new GP contract for Scotland

November 13, 2017

Commenting on the announcement by the BMA’s Scottish GP committee, Pauline Hogg, Scottish board member for the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants, said:

“The funding injection promised in the new contract should give GPs in Scotland a measure of financial stability for the next two years. There should be more winners in terms of income, although we will have to wait and see how the new funding formula will affect currently high and low earning practices and what the funding gap is for the practices losing out under the new formula.

“The contract is ambitious and extra resource is promised. This, however, will not be fully in place until 2021. During this time there will need to be major upskilling for GPs, practice managers, nurses and other healthcare staff.

“The new contract, however, will do nothing to address current workforce problems. There are simply not enough GPs in Scotland and many will continue to feel overloaded as they try to plug the gaps.

“The interest free loans for practice premises should help practices struggling to attract new partners, although going down this route appears to ultimately mean that practices will give up ownership of their premises.

“Phase two of the new contract will bring about big changes to the way in which GPs are paid. It will be very interesting to see how the impact of direct reimbursement of practice expenses plays out among GPs working to adopt innovative ways of delivering services.”

Higher inflation figure means increased tax bills for higher earning GPs

October 18, 2017

Yesterday’s announcement that inflation in the year ended September 2017 increased to 3% means higher earning GPs who are subject to annual allowance pension tax charges face increased tax bills in 2017/18.

The September inflation rate is used by the NHS pension scheme to set the revaluation rate each year which is inflation plus 1.5%. This means that the value of career earnings will be increased by 4.5% in 2017/18; a significant increase in the value of pension benefits.

Although the annual allowance calculation is meant to exclude inflationary rises, the inflation rate used in the calculation is that of September 2016 (which was only 1%), not the September 2017 rate of 3%.

Therefore, as benefits in 2017/18 will increase by 4.5%, and the allowance for inflation is only 1%, higher earners are going to be taxed on a 3% increase in their career earnings.

Luke Bennett, partner at PKF Francis Clark and Executive Committee member of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants, said: “This seems unjust, when in reality the uplift is only 1.5% above inflation. The position will correct itself if inflation falls back next year, but that’s no comfort to those facing high annual allowance tax charges in 2017/18.”

Practice Management: October 2017

October 16, 2017

AISMA accountant Andrew Burwood has some ideas for practice managers on how to deal with the relentless squeeze on practice finances. Read his article in the latest issue of Practice Management magazine. Download the article here.

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