Private healthcare providers submitted more than 7million electronic bills to insurers in 2019, revealed Healthcode, the industry’s official clearing organisation which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
Continuing the long-term upwards trend, the volume of PMI bills was 12% higher than in 2018 (6.3million) and accounted for more than £3.3bn revenue for the sector. For the second year running, the majority of electronic bills were submitted by consultants and other non-hospital providers (4million compared with 2.9million bills from hospitals). There was also a year-on-year increase of 18% in e-bills from non-hospital providers, compared with 4% from the hospital sector where electronic billing is already standard practice. More than 25,000 independent practitioners are registered to use the billing service alongside more than 300 hospitals.
Healthcode was established in 2000 to develop dedicated electronic billing technology for the private healthcare sector which would be more secure and efficient than traditional paper invoicing. The free online service began in 2002, validating bills on submission, according to the rules of the relevant PMI. By 2004, Healthcode were processing and clearing more than 2million bills annually; by 2012, the 3million landmark had been reached; and by 2015, bill volumes exceeded 4.8million.
Healthcode’s managing director, Peter Connor, said: “Healthcode was established by the industry to meet the needs of the industry for a simple but secure electronic billing solution. I’m proud that our online technology has facilitated the mass transition to electronic billing and that we have led the way in developing industry-wide billing and coding standards to make the billing process more accurate and efficient.
“While we are now more than a billing provider, the same concerns have informed our approach to developing all our online services throughout the last 20 years, most recently The Private Practice Register (The PPR). Put simply, we want to use our expertise and secure platform to help the independent healthcare sector to work together, use data effectively and deliver high quality services.”