Intended for healthcare professionals


Coding errors in NHS cause up to £1bn worth of inaccurate payments

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 31 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4734
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1Margate

    Errors in clinical coding of patients’ treatments in NHS hospitals in England have meant that primary care trusts have made about £1bn worth of mistaken payments over the past three years, sometimes paying too little and sometimes too much.

    The mistakes were spotted by the spending watchdog the Audit Commission, which published a new report on the quality of use of data in the NHS on 26 August. The commission had audited the data that underpin England’s Payment by Results system, which generates a payment per patient, depending on the treatment given, and which hospitals use to charge primary care trusts.

    The commission found that accuracy …

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