Hospitals must code patient discharge letters correctly

All patient discharge letters from hospitals to GPs should include correct HRG (Healthcare Resource Group) codes, according to the NHS Alliance.

That is the technique used to describe the patient's diagnosis and how much treatment costs under the Payment By Results tariff.

It would then be easy to ensure accuracy, correct any errors or to establish missing information.

The GP would confirm with the PCT that the records are accurate and the hospital should be paid.

The NHS Alliance says that practice-based commissioning is complicated because of the inaccurate data supplied by trusts.

NHS Alliance chief executive Michael Sobanja said: ‘If any trust does not deliver the full contract, then there should be no argument that payment should be withheld.

‘The Health Select Committee is absolutely right to point to the imbalance of power between foundation trusts and PCTs. This proposal would go a long way to redressing that.'

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