Primary Care Networks: Who are you trusting to receive the DES payments on your behalf?

A couple of weeks ago we asked you some questions about your PCN (Read article here), and last week we suggested you should consider with whom you are legally contracting (Read article here).

Another question we asked was who are you trusting to receive the DES payments on your behalf?

The DES Directions are clear that the money has to go to a member of the Primary Care Network on behalf of all the Network members. That will be a partnership, sole trader or company running a practice, but the monies will be administered by practice staff. You will need to be comfortable that the practice receiving the money has proper financial controls; we are frequently surprised at how many practice partners and principals allow electronic payments to be made out of the practice account, often without limits, with no second authorisation or even regular oversight. You might also consider requiring that the practice administering the funds sets up a separate bank account for receipt of Network monies.

Assuming the money is subject to proper internal controls by the practice receiving the money, how do you ensure the practice holding the money makes the payments due to you? And what if the payments are made late – should they have to pay you interest?

Financial governance is vital, and is something every PCN needs to consider carefully before nominating the payee.  There should be provisions in the Network Agreement relating to financial procedures.

If you would like to find out more about Mandatory Network Agreements and how we can assist Networks generally, please contact our specialist team. We have also developed a training programme on this, and other topical themes, which we would be happy to discuss with you.