Street, Andrew

Interpreting the NHS cost indices for acute trusts [publication] / / Andrew Street - York : University of York, Centre for Health Economics, 1999 - 39 p. : ill. ; 30 cm


The 1997 White Paper, The New NHS, announced that Trusts would be required to publish and benchmark the costs of the treatments they provide on a similar basis . Five different indices were produced purpoting to measure the unit costs of service provision in English acute Trusts. This paper describes the various cost indices and the interpretations that may be drawn from consulting them. In section II the construction of the five indices is briefly described, while section III reports how Trusts appear to vary in their relative performance across indices. Section IV describes a method to calculate confidence intervals around the efficiency scores derived from the CCIs, presents the results of these calculations and assesses whether differences in the point estimates reported for individual Trusts are true differences or merely a matter of chance. Section V outlines changes in coding behaviour that may be observed as a consequence of publicationof the cost data. The final section discusses the policy implications of the analysis, concluding that it may not be fair to set unit cost targets for Trusts based on the currently available data.