UNIT COSTS FOR SUBSTANCE MISUSE
“Transparent pricing” for drug treatment
The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse is working with the Department of Health, Home Office and HM Treasury to understand the costs of substance-misuse treatment in England . The aim is to allow the purchase of the most effective interventions at a transparent price.
Expansion and improvement of drug treatment is expected to be driven by better use of existing resources or growth in local investment, not by increases in central government investment through the Pooled Treatment Budget.
A successful pilot was carried out in the South East, and the project expanded nationwide in 2006/7. Work has begun on the 2007/8 exercise after consultation with the field. The main changes to this year’s exercise are:
* Rather than looking at theoretical capacity for a service, the NTA will use actual NDTMS performance data
* Alignment of Tier 3 and 4 modalities with NDTMS modalities
* Use of most recent information – ie, using 07/08 rather than 06/07 data
* Simplification of some of the categories, particularly for direct non-pay costs and overheads
* A bespoke, web-based tool for data collection rather than individual (excel) spreadsheets.
Work is ongoing to sample primary care based projects across the country as well as some Tier 2 agencies. Consensus is that this model is not readily applicable to Tier 4 residential services (due to the different nature of their income streams), so a parallel exercise will be conducted for this sector.
Nov 2007-January 2008
Web-based tool being built
Testing of web-based tool and draft guidance with regional working groups
Final guidance for 07/08 exercise published on the web
Providers refer to guidance, and regional Memoranda of Understandings where agreed, to prepare date for entry in June 2008
Web-based tool available for provider data submission
NTDMS performance data uploaded to tool
End August 2008
Final unit cost reports available to partnerships and commissioners
This has been modified to reduce bureaucracy and incorporate learning from the first exercise. The final documents will be released by April 2008. If you have any queries about the unit costs exercise before the guidance is made available and the data collection phase begins in June 2008, forward your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NTA lead is treatment-delivery manager Colin Bradbury on 020 7261 8835.
The latest version of the unit costs FAQ can be found here FAQ Version 4 (September 2007).