Payment By Results ups activity but not quality

Payment By Results increased hospital activity but without a rise in quality, according to research.

The fixed tariff payment system directly linked the income hospitals receive with the number and case mix of patients treated. It was introduced in England in 2002.

Researchers from Aberdeen University compared measures of volume, cost and quality of care in hospitals across England with providers in Scotland, where the system does not operate, in 2004/5 and 2005/6.

The work in the BMJ did find that quality of care in foundation trusts improved after the introduction of Payment By Results.

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