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10 June 2024

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A million in May – private healthcare beats monthly invoice record say Healthcode

Healthcode processed more than 1million healthcare invoices to insurers in a single month for the first time in May as a record number of patients received investigations and treatment. Based on current trends, the UK’s online Clearing Service projected that providers will submit 11.5m invoices in 2024, compared with 10.2million in 2023.

Overall, invoice volumes were up by just under 15% last month, compared with May 2023 with both hospital and non-hospital settings showing similar levels of growth. May is traditionally a busy month for the private healthcare sector but 2024 has seen a significant increase in insurer-funded activity with monthly volumes of more than 900,000 since the start of the year.

Healthcode’s invoice data is an important measure of market activity because private hospitals and more than 70% of practitioners, practices and clinics submit invoices to all the major insurers through its secure Clearing Service. Automated validation ensures each invoice complies with the relevant insurer’s requirements optimising accuracy and efficiency for the businesses involved.

Healthcode’s Managing Director, Peter Connor said: “The number of invoices is another measure of the strength of the private healthcare sector in 2024 with activity across all regions, settings and hospital specialties exceeding previous years. Insured provision allows more patients to access the treatment they need quickly, eases the pressure on the NHS and contributes to the wider economy so I’m proud that our Clearing Service has a part to play in this success story.”

Here are the headlines from Healthcode’s analysis of invoice activity in May 2024:

Treatment setting

  • Most invoices are from non-hospital settings but both achieved year-on-year growth of 15% in May. Volumes for the year to date are 1.73million for hospitals and 3million for non-hospitals
  • In hospitals, there was a 16% year-on year increase for outpatient invoices and 9% for admitted patients

Specialty

  • Orthopaedics & trauma was the hospital specialty with the largest volume of invoices (63,000) which represented a year-on-year increase of 10%. Radiology was next with 49,000
  • The largest year-on-year increase was in oncology (31%) although the specialty was the 7th largest in terms of actual numbers (19,000). Radiology was second, up 27% year-on-year
  • The top ten hospital specialties posted year-on-growth of 6% (cardiology) or above

Countries and regions

  • Hospital invoice volumes were up across all UK countries with year-on-year growth of 14% in England, 61% in Northern Ireland, 18% in Scotland and 15% in Wales
  • London saw the highest year-on-year growth (22%) but all the English regions saw average growth of more with 12% compared with May 2023

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