Between a fifth and a third of hospitals record inaccurate cost data

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 16 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g4021
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

A third of NHS trusts in England submit annual cost data that are “materially incorrect” and half have poor costing in at least one important area of activity, a snapshot survey of 50 trusts by the health analytics company CHKS Capita has shown.1

But the results may exaggerate the failings, since 60% of the trusts selected for auditing were chosen because they were suspected of being poor at costing. In the remaining 40%, which were chosen at random, only a fifth had inaccurate data.

Every year each hospital trust submits reference cost data to the Department of Health. Each reference cost is the cost incurred by the organisation to produce one unit of activity, where units of activity are categorised by type (day case, outpatient, emergency admission, and so on), specialty, and healthcare resource group (HRG), which defines the condition treated. The volume …

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