Audit Commission call for new PbR datasets

Audit Commission call for new PbR datasets

The Audit Commission has criticised the way in which patient data is collected in the NHS, stating that new datasets will be required which accurately reflect the standards and outcomes of patient care.

The announcement comes following the watchdog’s review of data definitions and their use in the NHS, stating they are increasingly becoming problematic.

Last week, the Audit Commission stated that the NHS was losing large amounts of money as a result of hospitals incorrectly charging short-stay patients at expensive inpatient rates. Overcharging is also thought to waste large amounts of managerial time and resources in arguments with commissioners over re-charging.

The Audit Commission says the NHS puts these problems down to “poor national guidance” from the Department of Health and NHS Connecting for Health.

The “Payment by Results” (PbR) tariff determined by the current definitions intended to make sure that competition takes place on quality not price. It has emerged however trusts are charging different prices for the same services, because of the way they account for them.

Furthermore, the Audit Commission says these problems arise because PbR was developed when hospitals delivered most episodes of care. As treatment and observation has shifted into specialist centres and community settings, the datasets have not shifted with them, and therefore no longer reflect how the NHS delivers care. In community settings, the lack of reliable data recording systems also mean that patient data becomes increasingly less accurate.

The Audit Commission says the NHS Commissioning Board should work in conjunction with Monitor to ensure that patient data is recorded consistently. Over time, it says they should also develop datasets that capture all interventions, wherever they take place, and include quality measures.

Original Source eHealth Insider

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