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PHIN Annual Report Focuses on Future Transparency Efforts

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The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) has published its Annual Report for the financial year 2017-18. The report provides an update on PHIN’s key achievements in the last year, including the publication of the first performance measures for over 1,000 consultants with a private healthcare practice in the UK.

For the first time, PHIN’s Annual Report outlines annual statistics on activity across private healthcare in the UK in 2017.

  • Of the 811k private admissions in 2017, 75% were funded through insurance while 25% were self-funded.
  • ​The most common private procedure was cataract surgery, with over 50k operations throughout the year.
  • Knee Arthroscopy was the only procedure in the top ten most common procedures in 2017 which decreased in volumes from 2016, with a fall of 11%.

Part of the report focuses on data maturity and the challenges faced by many hospitals in providing data to PHIN. In order to publish the more complex measures required by the Competition & markets authority (CMA – see below for more on CMA), the quality of submissions must now improve. The report states this year saw an improvement in both the number of hospitals submitting data and the quality of data submitted. Further improvement is required in order to be able to publish these measures comprehensively.

Currently PHIN has sufficient quality data to publish volumes and length of stay for 372 hospitals. The majority of these sites are now live on PHIN’s website, and will be joined by the remainder at the next website refresh. This covers 96% of elective procedures in the UK. For patient satisfaction, over 66% of providers have provided sufficient PROMs or QPROMS data to publish a meaningful participation score. However, looking at future measures such as raw adverse events measures (never events) and health outcomes scores, PHIN’s ability to publish decreases sharply – both for the number of sites and total share of activity. Where over 70% of providers have made some progress in reporting raw adverse events, only a relatively small proportion have reached sufficient maturity to support robust publication of these measures.

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Note: Competition & markets authority’s (CMA) Private healthcare market investigation order 2014. The order was the result of an investigation by the UK’s competition authority into private healthcare. During the investigation, the CMA found that there is a lack of information available to patients considering private treatment that is sufficiently serious as to create an adverse effect on competition. The order created remedies for this problem, appointing an information organisation, the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN), and requiring that: “every operator of a private healthcare facility shall… supply the information organisation, quarterly from a date no later than 1 September 2016, with information as regards every patient episode of all private patients treated at that facility, and data which is sufficiently detailed and complete to enable the information organisation to publish [specified] performance measures by procedure at both hospital and consultant level. The information organisation shall publish performance information on its website, as specified by this Order… no later than 30 April 2017.”

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