NHS England and NHS Improvement have proposed a multi-year tariff that covers the next two years, with national prices set until 2019/20.
Here's a look at the headline proposals for the two-year tariff, as set out in the tariff engagement document published in August 2016 and updated in November 2016 as part of the statutory consultation.
Tariff proposals at a glance
- Currencies will be revised and based on phase three of the HRG4+ design, which had been planned but was postponed for introduction in 2016/17.
- The high-cost device list will be updated to remove two device categories and clarifying an existing category; changes are also proposed to the high-cost drug list.
- New national prices will be created in four areas, including for cochlear implants and complex CT scans.
- The fixed transfer of follow-up costs into first attendances in outpatient prices will be increased from 10 per cent to 30 per cent, taking into account differences at specialty level, to create a financial incentive to undertake more first attendances
- The casemix assumptions for the antenatal stage of the maternity pathway will be updated to increase activity allocated to intermediate and intensive levels.
- Four new best practice tariffs (BPTs) will be introduced, including for COPD, and changes will be made to other BPTs, including for acute stroke care.
- A new innovation and technology tariff will be introduced to encourage the uptake and spread of innovations in medical technology, defined by a list of new innovations like non-injectable arterial connectors.
- No changes to current marginal rate rules, such as emergency admissions, although the introduction of a previously proposed rule for specialised services is still being considered.
- Changes will be made to how specialised services are defined and top-up payments will be amended in line with recommendations from the University of York.
- Local payment rules for mental health will be changed and linked to locally agreed quality and outcome measures, in line with one of three required options.