CANCELLED PROCEDURES IN THE ENGLISH NHS: EVIDENCE FROM THE 2010 TARIFF REFORM

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Abstract

This paper explores the role of incentives in the English National Health Service. Until financial year 2009/2010, elective procedures that were cancelled after admission received a fixed reimbursement associated with a specific healthcare resource group code. We investigate whether this induced trusts to admit and then cancel, rather than cancel before admission and/or to cancel low fee over high fee work. As the tariff was ended in April 2010, we conduct an interrupted time series analysis to examine if their behaviour was affected after the tariff removal. The results indicate a small, yet statistically significant, decline in the probability of a last minute cancellation in the post-tariff period, especially for certain types of patients and diagnoses.

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