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Payment By Results needs ‘urgent changes’


29 August 2013

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Significant changes must be made to the way money flows around the NHS, healthcare experts have warned. 
A joint proposal from healthcare think tank The King’s Fund and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) states that the current system “won’t support the changes required in the NHS over the coming years”. 
Tony Whitfield, president of the HFMA said: “Payment systems need to make change possible – not act as an obstacle to reform because the finances don’t work out.” 

Significant changes must be made to the way money flows around the NHS, healthcare experts have warned. 
A joint proposal from healthcare think tank The King’s Fund and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) states that the current system “won’t support the changes required in the NHS over the coming years”. 
Tony Whitfield, president of the HFMA said: “Payment systems need to make change possible – not act as an obstacle to reform because the finances don’t work out.” 
For example, payment by results (PBR), which is currently used in hospitals “could do more to support integrated care”, the groups argue. 
Whitfield said: “We need to keep what works well with the current system, but think very carefully about what we need going forward.
“Moving towards payment linked to outcomes also makes sense. But we need to think through what that means in practice – how do we measure good outcomes and reward them?” 
And The King’s Fund chief economist, John Appleby agreed. He said: “The challenges facing the NHS have changed since PBR was developed nearly a decade ago. 
“In some cases it may be obstructing much-needed service change, so tinkering with the current payment systems will not be enough. One size does not fit all when it comes to payment systems.” 

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