Magazine article Public Finance

Cutting A&E Admissions 'Requires PBR Reform'

Magazine article Public Finance

Cutting A&E Admissions 'Requires PBR Reform'

Article excerpt

Payment by results must be reformed to ensure more patients with long-term conditions are treated outside hospital and to avoid further embarrassment over miscalculated price lists, NHS managers said this week.

They were responding to Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt's March 20 announcement that the NHS could save more than £400m a year through a 30% reduction in avoidable emergency admissions'. She said that in many instances patients with one of 18 chronic conditions, such as asthma and angina, would be better treated in the community.

But NHS Confederation policy manager Nigel Edwards said hospital trusts would be reluctant for more patients to be treated in the community, as they would receive less income under PBR.

'The Department of Health needs to review the policy so that the reward for hospitals is not to lose money. Until this happens, reducing the number of admissions of people with long-term conditions will continue to be a challenge,' he said.

The department also published a revised price list for PBR in 2006/07. The original tariff was withdrawn a month ago after errors were discovered - these miscalculations pushed the overall prices higher than intended. …

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