Healthcode has observed a steady increase in activity for insurer-funded healthcare in June, particularly in oncology where volumes have already returned to pre-crisis levels.
As the UK’s official clearing organisation for private medical bills, Healthcode has been monitoring activity levels on behalf of the independent healthcare sector. The data shows that level of activity for the whole of June 2020 was 47% that of the same period in 2019 and this trend has continued into early July (48% of July 2019). This is a significant advance on the monthly activity level for May 2020 which was just 29% of that in May 2019.
At the same time, this is a mixed picture with geography and speciality proving to be important factors in the rate of recovery across the sector since the end of lockdown.
Here are the headlines from Healthcode’s analysis of June’s activity:
Countries and regions
- In June 2020, England operated at 48% the level of 2019 while Scotland reached 31% and Wales 20%. By contrast the equivalent figures in May 2020 were 29% for England, 24% for Scotland and 13% in Wales.
- The West Midlands was the region which bounced back strongest achieving 65% of 2019 levels in June, compared with 43% in May. London has also rallied, achieving 55% of the activity in level of the previous year.
- For oncology, the activity level in last month was 99% of that in June 2019. Next was pathology/haematology which was at 75% of 2019 levels while the equivalent figure for radiology was 54%.
- ENT was at the other end of the scale, operating at only 19% of 2019 level, while physiotherapy was 23%. Orthopaedics, traditionally a strong area for PMI-funded treatment, only recovered to 25% of its expected level.
Admitted vs outpatient care
- Overall hospital activity has recovered to 40% previous levels. Within hospital settings, outpatient activity has recovered more strongly, returning to 42% of its 2019 figure, up from 24% in May.
- By contrast admitted care activity in June was only at 32%. However, this is an improvement on the May figure of 21% and Healthcode anticipate this will continue, based on recent levels of the consultant activity.
Peter Connor, Healthcode Managing Director, commented: “Since private providers were given the green light to resume treatment, everyone has been working hard to deliver high quality care to patients. As a result, we saw an increase of approximately 50% in activity in June compared with May across the sector, albeit there were still considerable variations. Reassuringly, that positive trend has continued into July which supports our view that this growth is sustainable and the independent healthcare sector is already well on the way to recovery.”