NHSE/I have published Key areas of work for the 2020 national tariff which sets out the key policy areas NHSE/I are considering for 2020 and builds on the engagement webinars and workshops earlier in the year. The document reflects some changes to the policies in light of feedback to the earlier engagement. The main changes are to the blended payment models for outpatients and maternity services, as well as moving to pilot adult critical care blended payment for 2020 rather than proposing to mandate it. In April 2021, activity would start to be grouped and paid for, either by specialty or some other grouping that is meaningful for both clinicians and patients. NHSE/I are considering starting with ophthalmology, dermatology and rheumatology as they are specialties with high volumes of activity and well established pathways.
The RCOphth will continue to work in partnership with NHSE/I to ensure the development and implementation of fair provider payment systems that reflect the costs of delivering modern, effective, appropriate and high quality care to patients. We will assist and support members, Trusts and commissioners in resolving issues and concerns which arise from new ways of delivering patient care and new payment mechanisms.
As outlined in the RCOphth Strategic Plan 2020 – 2022, we will work with commissioners and providers to improve ophthalmology services and to maintain high quality patient care. We will ensure that commissioners, NHSE/I and providers understand the implications of the significant and disproportionate increase in demand that the aging population is placing on ophthalmology services compared to many other specialties.