Around £259 million is lost each year due to patients incorrectly claiming an exemption from NHS prescription, optical and dental charges, DHSC has said in its counter fraud strategy 2020-23.
This contributes to a total fraud bill of around £1.21 billion, representing around 1 per cent of the total NHS budget of £140 billion, according to the NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA).
The strategy sees the introduction of technology as key to provider level involvement in the anti-fraud effort, specifically for dispensaries, the introduction of a Real Time Exemption Checking (RTEC) system.
RTEC is currently being rolled out among pharmacy contractors that use the Positive Solutions (PSL) Analyst, Invatech Titan, Cegedim and EMIS PMR systems. Other PMR suppliers are also working with NHS Digital to develop systems.