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Healthcode helps private healthcare sector achieve a record year

Private healthcare providers sent 10.2million invoices to insurers through Healthcode’s online Clearing Service in 2023, a year-on-year increase of 20% which brought in more than £4billion income for the sector.

The record volume represents a landmark for the Clearing Service as it is the first time more than 10million invoices have been submitted annually since Healthcode made the process more accurate, efficient and secure more than 20 years ago. Private hospitals and more than 70% of practitioners, practices and clinics now submit invoices to all the major insurers though the service which automatically checks that each invoice complies with the relevant insurer’s requirements, ensuring they enter the payment cycle quicker.

Healthcode’s invoice data is an important measure of market activity and reflects the company’s position at the centre of the private healthcare industry. According to its latest analysis, the increase in volumes was driven by higher insured activity levels across the sector, particularly for non-hospital treatments and specialties like physiotherapy where overall invoice volumes rose by 27%. Notably, it shows an increase in the number of unique insured patients receiving treatment, rather than multiple invoices relating to the same patients.

Healthcode’s Managing Director, Peter Connor said: “The growth in invoice volumes to insurers is a healthy sign as it shows that more insured patients received the investigations, treatment and rehabilitation they needed to get their lives back on track. The increase in physiotherapy activity, for example, reflects the prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions in the population1 and also the important role of physiotherapists in preparing patients for procedures and supporting them as they recover.

“From a Healthcode perspective, I’m delighted that our Clearing Service has become a trusted and indispensable part of the invoicing process. It’s testament to the power of our online technology to streamline time-consuming manual processes and give private health businesses back that precious time to focus on delivering high quality safe and timely care.

“Whether it’s through our interoperable technology, our business intelligence or initiatives like our user groups, our motivation has always been to bring all the players in the industry together to facilitate collaboration and better ways of working. That continues to inspire innovations like The PPR (The Private Practice Register) which has now passed the milestone of 40,500 registered practitioners and ICE, our new real-time appointment booking platform for the sector.”

Here are the headlines from Healthcode’s analysis of invoice activity in 2023:

Treatment setting

  • In 2023, 3.8m invoices were submitted by hospitals and 6.4million by non-hospitals. This represented year-on-year growth of 24% for non-hospitals and 12% for hospitals
  • For hospitals, the vast majority of invoices related to outpatient treatments (more than 3.1million). The number of invoices for outpatient and admitted treatments increased by 11% and 12% respectively year-on-year

Specialty

  • Orthopaedics & trauma remained the biggest hospital specialty in 2023 with an insured invoice volume of more than 657,000, up 13% on 2022. Radiology was second with 459,000 (up 7%) and physiotherapy third with 317,000 (up 15%)
  • While gynaecology was the sixth largest hospital specialty in terms of invoice volumes (223,000), it saw the largest year-on-year growth (22%). Cardiology was the tenth largest hospital speciality by volumes (141,000) but posted growth of 20%  
  • For non-hospital care, the biggest specialty was physiotherapy with over 1million invoices, more than 30% higher than 2022. Orthopaedics was second with 828,000 invoices (up 12%)
  • Physiotherapy had the largest volume of invoices in 2023 across hospital and non-hospital settings, representing year-on-year growth of 27%

Countries and regions

  • Hospital invoice volumes were up across all UK countries with year-on-year growth of 11% in England, 38% in Northern Ireland, 13% in Scotland and 20% in Wales
  • All the English regions saw year-on-year growth of more than 10% in 2023 with the North East coming top with 18%. London achieved year-on-year growth of 11%

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