£1.6m of non-compliant Low Priority Procedures found in clinical and coding audit

Low Priority Procedures (LPP) Audit

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are responsible for ensuring they only commission and reimburse NHS hospitals for clinical activity that complies with locally agreed policies. Some clinical treatments, known as Low Priority Procedures (LPPs), are not routinely funded. 

To improve local hospitals’ compliance with LPP policies, processes and controls, Monmouth carried out a clinical and coding audit on behalf of the responsible CCG. A non-compliance rate (i.e. activity undertaken by hospitals that should not be funded by the CCG), was identified in excess of £1.6m over a six-month period.

What we did

Monmouth carried out an onsite clinical coding audit to validate how the CCG’s LPP rules were being applied by local hospital providers. We also looked at referral routes and potential opportunities to reduce demand for low priority clinical procedures.

Post-audit, Monmouth assessed the outcomes of the on-site work, identifying what activity can be reasonably rejected or paid for going forward.

The output was a detailed report documenting compliance rates and coding errors that might impact on the identification of LPP activity.

Future impact

Monmouth’s onsite work identified 113 non-compliant patient admissions.  The majority of these lacked appropriate evidence within the clinical records that the care was justified. There were also clinical coding errors, resulting in incorrect payment for 6% of cases.

Our recommendations will help the CCG reduce inappropriate referrals, manage expectations about treatment options and improve decision making by patients and clinicians about LPP procedures. In addition, the audit helped set thresholds which mean the CCG can police payment for LPP-type activity in the future without having to review every individual case.

To find out more about how Monmouth supports commissioners, click here.

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