Best Practice Tariff

The Best Practice Tariff (BPT) for early inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis (EIA) came into use in April 2013, supported by the BSR, Arthritis Research UK and the Department of Health. It is the first time there has been a BPT in rheumatology and we are delighted that it raises the profile of rheumatology to improve quality for patients.

The BPT is a key financial incentive to improve quality which we encourage you to take up. The aim is to drive improvements in management of EIA, and particularly to support the many units that have struggled to provide timely and intensive intervention. Other units may be hamstrung by enforced inappropriate new to follow up ratios that the BPT helps to avoid for a significant proportion of our new patients.  

Some units already have effective systems for intensive management of early arthritis via standard 'payment by results tariffs' - they are currently reimbursed in excess of the new BPT. We would be keen to work with units that have concerns about potential loss of income. 

We would like to emphasise that:


Implementation of the BPT is not mandatory for clinical services (although it is mandatory for commissioners to pay this tariff where units opt in)

NHS England has confirmed that where best practice currently exists and there are concerns about loss of income, local negotiations could take place with CCGs to protect this income - click here to view the operational guidance and tariffs, particularly paragraph 385, page 83
You can read here the assumptions used by the Department of Health to underpin the calculation of BPT prices and download a copy of a suggested data collection proforma. Alternatively, click here to download the best practice tariff questions and answers.