Introduction Readmission rates in general surgery are now used as an indicator of outcome of hospital care. Financial penalties for high levels of readmissions were introduced in 2011. Aims of this study were to assess the accuracy of general surgical readmission and cost implications of erroneous coding.
Method 174 patients were readmitted over a four month period (April – June 2014). Electronic patient records were reviewed for both the primary admission and readmission.
ResultsDuring this time frame, the trust was fined £85,320 in penalties, of which £36,851 could have been avoided if coding errors were excluded.
Conclusion Robust systems need to be instituted to avoid excessive charges as a result of inaccurate coding. Collaboration with clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to reduce the penalty for readmissions with an unrelated primary complaint should be carried out.
Disclosure of interest None Declared.