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NHS England to review hospital incentives

NHS England has proposed to ditch the ‘payment by results’ method used to pay hospitals in a major shake-up of healthcare funding.

Monitor and NHS England are to look into the funding method of healthcare service, claiming that PbR is ‘not sufficiently patient focused’ and can act as a ‘barrier to integrated care’.

Any changes will be introduced from 2015/16 and will be designed in part to promote preventative care.

A discussion paper, produced by Monitor and NHS England, said: ‘A prominent concern is that, in the main, PbR still pays for activities, not patient outcomes. These may match closely in some cases, but not all. Good patient outcomes may result from many different types of care, including one-off interventions, discrete episodes, or continuous case management. But there are few types of care in which paying for activities is sufficient to encourage the best patient outcomes.’

Paul Baumann, chief financial officer at NHS England said: ‘We are keen to use this opportunity to develop and design a new payment system that does more for patients. We are asking people to contribute by answering the four questions set out in the document.

‘Changes to this system will not happen overnight, and it is important we get this right. As part of this engagement we are gathering evidence to support short and longer term improvements to the payment system.’