999 Call for the NHS have issued an appeal to the Supreme Court in relation to the payment mechanism proposed in the NHS Accountable Care Organisation Contract (now called the Integrated Care Provider Contract).
The group argues that the “Whole Population Annual Payment” (WPAP) breaches the payment scheme introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, which must be followed by commissioners when paying healthcare providers for NHS services.
The WPAP is a single amount paid to a provider to deliver all health care services defined in the contract for a period of time. It is argued the 2012 Act requires payments to be made per individual treatment, which protects standards of care because the provider is paid in relation to the level of activity. The WPAP places the “risk” on the provider – if more patients are treated, there is less money to go round.
The group were granted permission to the Court of Appeal so the Court could determine “visible prices fixed in advance for each individual treatment episode”. The group argue that this fundamental question was not answered by the Court.
A permission decision from the Supreme Court is expected in due course. The Court of Appeal judgment can be accessed here.