Dealing with extracontractual referrals.

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE:To describe the mechanism established by Richmond, Twickenham, and Roehampton Health Authority to manage extracontractual referral requests made on behalf of its resident population and to examine its working in the first three months of the new arrangements. DESIGN:Description of the procedures for managing extracontractual referrals and the decisions made on requests submitted to the district health authority between 1 April and 30 June 1991. RESULTS:235 requests were submitted, 79 for emergency care. 156 requests were clearly for elective treatments and, of these, 61 were ultimately refused, 20 because the district health authority was not liable to pay. Of the remaining 41, 17 were appealed successfully and three unsuccessfullly. More than half of the elective extracontractual referrals correctly submitted were to either orthopaedics, general surgery, oral surgery, gynaecology, or plastic surgery. Overall, the district health authority approved three quarters of the requests for which it would be financially liable; this was the predicted workload for the period. CONCLUSIONS:The management of extracontractual referral requests is complex and time consuming for clinicians and managers alike. Patient choice is clearly being limited to some extent, but this is necessary if the number of requests is not to exceed the levels on which funding is based.

journal_name

BMJ

authors

Williamson JD

doi

10.1136/bmj.303.6801.499

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

1991-08-31 00:00:00

pages

499-504

issue

6801

eissn

0959-8138

issn

1756-1833

journal_volume

303

pub_type

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