Approved Costing Guidance 2019

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Healthcare costing standards and collection guidance for collection year 2019.

Back to the main Approved Costing Guidance page.

How the costing standards and collection guidance work together in 2019

The Healthcare costing standards for England describe the costing approach we ask you to adopt.  We have started integrating the Healthcare costing standards for England into one document to support most trusts, who provide more than one type of service. In practice, this means that where a standard is the same across multiple sectors, we have tried to ensure that the documentation is the same.

All the costing processes (CP) have been integrated into a singular document for acute, mental health and community services. A number of the costing methods (CM) have also been integrated. However, there are a number of CMs which remain sector specific and therefore the documentation for the CMs remain in individual documents for acute, mental health and community services. There has been no integration for ambulance services. We collect information from providers about the costs they have incurred in running healthcare services yearly. This includes both reference costs and patient-levels costs (known as PLICS).

In 2019, cost data for the 2018/19 financial year will need to be submitted as follows: 

  • Acute providers have been mandated to provide PLICS for admitted patient care (APC), outpatients (OP) and A&E data and aggregated costing data for all remaining services in the national cost collection workbook (reference costs).
  • Ambulance, mental health and community providers will need to provide aggregated costing data for all services in the national cost collection workbook (reference costs).
  • There will be pilot PLICS collections for community, mental health, IAPT and ambulance services.

Healthcare costing standards for England

Quick start guide for the healthcare costing standards PDF, 177.6 KB

An overview of the costing process and how to start implementing the standards.

The healthcare costing standards describe the costing approach we ask you to adopt. They include a timetable for implementing the standards.For each sector, there are up to four different types of standard: 

  • information requirements: describe the information you need to collect for costing
  • costing processes: describe the costing process you should follow
  • costing methods: focus on high volume and high-value services or departments
  • costing approaches: focus on high volume or high-value procedures and procedures that can be difficult to cost well

Information requirements and costing processes form the main costing process. You must implement these in numerical order (information requirements then costing processes) before working on the costing methods and then costing approaches that apply to your organisation. All standards are supported by an Excel-based technical document.

The new standards do not currently cover independent providers but we encourage all providers to adopt the costing principles and the costing process.

Integrated standards

Healthcare costing standards - integrated costing processes PDF, 823.9 KB

Standards to be used by acute (collection year 2020), mental health (collection year 2019) and community (collection year 2019).

Acute

Healthcare costing standards - acute: information requirements and costing processes PDF, 1.6 MB

Standards for the main costing process for acute providers

Healthcare costing standards - acute: costing methods PDF, 1.4 MB

Standards for high volume or value services or departments. To be implemented after information requirements and costing processes

Healthcare costing standards - acute: costing approaches PDF, 1.4 MB

Standards for high volume or value procedures. To be implemented after costing methods.

Healthcare costing standards - acute: technical document XLSB, 1.9 MB

Supports the implementation of the standards by providing required information that is best presented in Excel format.

Ambulance

Healthcare costing standards - ambulance: information requirements and costing processes PDF, 975.1 KB

Standards for the main costing process for ambulance providers

Healthcare costing standards - ambulance: costing methods PDF, 535.5 KB

Standards for high volume or value services or departments. To be implemented after information requirements and costing processes.

Healthcare costing standards - ambulance: technical document XLSX, 2.2 MB

Supports the implementation of the standards by providing required information that is best presented in Excel format.

Mental health

Healthcare costing standards - mental health: information requirements PDF, 591.4 KB

Standards for the main costing process for mental health providers.

Healthcare costing standards - mental health: costing methods PDF, 1.2 MB

Standards for high volume or value services or departments. To be implemented after information requirements and costing processes.

Community

Healthcare costing standards - community: information requirements PDF, 640.6 KB

Standards for the main costing process for community providers.

Healthcare costing standards - community: costing methods PDF, 1.2 MB

Standards for high volume or value services or departments. To be implemented after information requirements.

Healthcare costing standards - community: technical document XLSB, 1.9 MB

Supports the implementation of the standards by providing required information that is best presented in Excel format

Education and training

Healthcare costing standards - education and training PDF, 1.1 MB

Standards for costing education and training.

Healthcare costing standards - education and training: technical document XLSB, 1.3 MB

Supports the implementation of the standards by providing required information that is best presented in Excel format.

Cost collections guidance

National cost collections guidance

National cost collections guidance 2019 PDF, 1.9 MB

This covers the reference cost and PLICS submissions.

National cost collections workbook 2018-19 ZIP, 6.6 MB

The cost collections workbook and a user guide.

Summary of National Cost Collection workbook submissions JPG, 577.7 KB

FAQ diagram: Summary of National Cost Collection workbook submissions

Technical update: Sensitive/legally restricted data PDF, 184.0 KB

This technical update sets out how to identify data at PLICS level for patients receiving services or treatments for which the recorded data is sensitive/legally restricted.

Acute extract file specification XLSX, 184.4 KB

Sets out the data fields and format required by NHS Digital for the PLICS submission. This includes XML and CSV formats.

Acute Data Validation Tool Business Rules XLSX, 336.9 KB

Contains the checks performed in the NHS Improvement data validation tool.

Structure of XML files for submission to NHS Digital and Schema Base Elements ZIP, 16.7 KB

Sets out the structure for the XML files which will be submitted to NHS Digital. These files are targeted at software suppliers for inclusion in their costing solution (where the decision is taken to produce the XML files directly).

Format and structure of the CSV files ZIP, 2.3 KB

Demonstrates the format and structure of the CSV collection files which will be loaded into the NHS Improvement data validation tool.

Format and structure of the XML files ZIP, 3.8 KB

Demonstrates the format and structure of the XML files which will be loaded into the NHS Improvement data validation tool and submitted to NHS Digital.

Voluntary collections guidance

Ambulance PLICS cost collection guidance 2018/19 PDF, 283.0 KB

Gives the technical specification for ambulance service providers to follow for the collection of the 2018/19 patient-level information and costing systems (PLICS) data in 2019.

Ambulance PLICS file specifications 2018/19 XLSX, 91.5 KB

Sets out the data fields and format required by NHS Digital for the ambulance PLICS submission in 2019.

Tools and templates for implementing standards

Auto-mapper - general ledger to costing ledger expense code mapping PDF, 1.1 MB

This document provides a walkthrough of the auto-mapper software. The automapper itself is available from the online learning platform.

Integrated costing assurance log XLSX, 155.9 KB

This template provides a standard format for a costing assurance log. It should be used by all providers. This used to be known as the costing manual.

Information gap analysis XLSX, 240.8 KB

Template to assess the gaps between the information collected by your organisation and the information required by the costing standards at the individual field level.

Standards gap analysis - integrated XLSX, 66.8 KB

Template to identify gaps that may make it difficult to implement the healthcare costing standards.

Standards gap analysis - ambulance XLSX, 73.0 KB

Template to identify gaps that may make it difficult to implement the ambulance healthcare costing standards.

Minimum software requirements

The minimum software requirements outline what a patient-level costing system needs. They have been updated to align with the 2019 standards.

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