Real Time Exemption Checking (RTEC) Launches in Analyst

Positive Solutions has launched Real Time Exemption Checking developed in collaboration with NHS Digital and NHSBSA with the support of PSNC and other pharmacy stakeholders. The functionality is a core part of Analyst PMR and allows Analyst to check whether a patient presenting an EPS2 prescription has a known exemption. The service is limited to England only and will not work for paper scripts.

As pharmacy contractors go live with RTEC, they will receive a communications pack by post from NHSBSA. Real Time Exemption Checking is available in England only.

How RTEC works

The fully integrated software performs a background check on the exemption status for a patient presenting an EPS2 script. No check is performed for patients who are already known to be exempt because of age or because of prescriber endorsement on the script e.g. dispensing contraceptives.

At the present time, only the five exemptions managed by NHSBSA (outlined below) can be checked. Discussions are underway with the Department of Work and Pensions and other government agencies, to extend the service to other exemption types.

Exemptions currently managed by NHSBSA:

  • Maternity
  • Medical
  • Prepayment
  • Low Income
  • Tax Credits

If a digital exemption is found the process of handout and claim is made smoother and faster with no need for the patient to complete an EPS token declaration.

Trials completed from February to June 2019 produced overwhelmingly positive feedback.  More than 3,700 patients were confirmed as exempt during the opening stage of the pilot, meaning those patients did not have to be asked whether they pay for prescriptions, nor were they required to sign a declaration.

PSNC has said it believes “there will be clear benefits to pharmacy teams and patients when RTEC is more widely rolled out, reducing the burden of the current prescription charge exemption system which pharmacy contractors are required to operate”.

Benefits to pharmacy include:

  • Improved digital efficiency for pharmacy staff.
  • Reduced risk of incorrect claims submission.
  • Reduction in EPS token printing for submission to NHSBSA.
  • Less staff time in supporting patients, checking evidence and sorting submission tokens.
  • Greater patient convenience with no need for evidence of exemption.
  • Easier claims submission resulting in time savings at the end of the month.
  • Reduction in risk of prescription fraud.

Implementation (England only)

RTEC is being rolled out to existing Analyst PMR throughout the rest of 2019.

  1. Analyst PMR users will receive directly from NHSBSA a Comms Pack including:
  • Business process flow chart
  • Customer poster
  1. Within a few weeks of receiving the Comms Pack, the pharmacy can expect to be automatically enabled with RTEC functionality within their Analyst PMR system.
  2. The Analyst Help File has been updated (v3.62 onwards) and is already available to users.
  3. Analyst Users may, in some instances, receive a phone call from Positive Solutions to arrange a software update.
  4. Further information is available from PSL Sales 01257 235914

How does RTEC work?

NHSBSA is implementing a phased approach:

  • Phase One comprises: Maternity, Medical, Prescription pre-payment, Tax Credits, HC2 (full help).
  • Phase Two includes: Income Support, Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseeker Allowance, Income-related Employment & Support Allowance, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit, 16-18 and in full time education, Certificate issued by Ministry of Defence.

In-pharmacy process

  • The system checks patient data held by the NHSBSA.
  • The data is automatically checked in the background at the point of prescription process.
  • Dispensing labels are produced.
  • Exemption status is checked once only (a second check is possible if the patient queries initial status).
  • If RTEC returns a patient not found status for a patient who maintains they are exempt, the patient will complete an EPS token declaration in the normal way.
  • If RTEC returns a prescription exemption, it will be treated as such by NHSBSA and no further exemption checks will be applied. No EPS token declaration is required.

Additional Resources

NHSBSA Patient Eligibility Checker

RTEC User Guide for Analyst PMR



RTEC Cover Letter

simple and easy

a lot less faffing about

time saving

benefits counter staff

less time discussing prescription exemptions

made life easier at the end of the month

much easier to submit claims