Detailed questioning by AISMA accountant Honey Barrett revealed a pattern of persistent under-claiming at a small medical practice in the South East. The three-partner GMS practice had been without a practice manager for a year following the resignation without notice of the previous incumbent.
With no-one focusing on funding claims, matters slipped and it was only when Honey Barrett started to prepare the year-end accounts that the full picture emerged. Liz Densley, director, Honey Barrett said: “An important part of our function at the year end is to assess where funding claims have been made. It was clear that this practice was in a terrible mess and was in danger of letting cash slip through its fingers, all because legitimate claims had not gone in.”
To start with no reimbursements from the PCT had been claimed for water rates or refuse and the practice stood to lose more than £2,000. An overpayment of £2,000 made to the practice’s previous gas supplier had not been retrieved before switching to a new supplier. Payments of more than £3,000 the practice was entitled to through the flexible career scheme had not been claimed from the PCT. The practice had not notified the PCT of the correct salary for the practice’s salaried GPs and consequently had overpaid superannuation by nearly £3,000. Under-claimed VAT stood at £2,000. Finally the practice had failed to claim for processing disabled blue badges – an estimated £2,000. In all £14,000 of under-claimed or underpaid funding was identified by Honey Barrett.
Liz Densley concludes: “Like many doctors and practice managers, the GPs and practice manager at this practice were worried about the depth and quantity of the questions we asked. However, when the questions revealed the amount the practice stood to gain, the doctors realised the value of our approach.”
Practice: Small GMS practice with 3 partners
AISMA accountant: Honey Barrett
Theme: Practice fails to receive legitimate funding of £14,000
Detail: With no practice manager in post the practice had lost focus on claims and reimbursements.
Action taken: As part of the year-end accounts preparation, Honey Barrett made detailed enquiries which enabled the practice to collect money due to them and make retrospective claims.