Every year CQC invoices registered providers for the fees they are required to pay. The invoice is for the total amount of fees due in the year and requests payment within 30 days. For a number of reasons (detailed below) CQC have not yet sent out any annual fee invoices in the 2014/15 financial year. This means that approximately 16,000 providers have not yet received their fees invoice for 2014/15.
Four large invoice runs are usually made each financial year, one at the start of each quarter (April, July, October, and January). These in turn are supplemented by smaller monthly runs. About 16,000 providers are included in the first quarter invoice run which covers invoices for the majority of dentists and GPs and most NHS trusts.
In order to determine the fees payable by single location dentists and NHS GPs, and then send out the invoices, CQC need some information which has to be obtained annually. For dentists they need to know the number of dental chairs in a practice and for GPs they need to know how many registered patients they have on their list.
The information, once obtained, is held in the CQC Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
There are around 10,000 single location GPs and dentists where this information needs to be provided (N.B. fees for multi-location GPs and dentists are based on the number of registered locations, information CQC already hold on their database).
Information on the number of dental chairs in each practice was collected for the first time this year using a survey sent to all single location dental providers, allowing CQC to differentiate smaller single location dental providers from larger ones. While the majority of dentists responded by the deadline set, there was a significant number who did not, which required time-consuming follow-up.
This is the second year that CQC has collected information on the number of registered patients on GPs’ lists in order to calculate their fees. This information is subject to year-on-year changes so we obtain it from an independent, centralised database. There was a delay this year in collecting this information, which delayed its transfer into their invoicing system.
In future years, revisions to the information will be part of the scheduled work CQC do on their CRM system.
The delay to these two processes meant CQC were unable to invoice any providers whose invoices were due between April and July because our invoicing system cannot isolate providers by sector and invoice them separately. This includes most NHS Trusts, as all but a handful are billed in April, the majority of dentists and NHS GPs and a significant proportion of Adult Social Care and Independent Healthcare providers.
CQC will begin to send out invoices in the next few days which reflect the amounts that providers will have been expecting and planned to pay in this financial year. The first invoices to go out will be those which would usually have been sent out at the start of April 2014, this totals around 9,000 invoices. The remainder of the delayed invoices, those which would have been sent out at the start of May, June, and July will be sent out over the following three weeks. The usual run of August invoices will be sent out nearer the end of August.
Invoices will be sent out with standard payment terms, requesting payment within 30 days. Should payment not be received, and contact not made with us, in 30 days, CQC will initiate their usual debt recovery procedures. In exceptional circumstances, CQC may consider a payment plan on request by individual providers where it is clear that there are compelling reasons for us to do so.
Queries from providers should be sent to the address included on their invoice.