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UK consults on hospital discharge payment plans:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

The UK has launched a consultation on plans to introduce a reimbursement scheme aimed at discouraging unnecessary delays in discharge from hospitals. The initiative, part of the government's drive to improve hospital activity, is based on a system used across Scandinavia, where it is said to have had a "major impact" on reducing discharge delays. The initiative, announced in April 2002, will be open to consultation until September 18 2002. The government has allocated a 6% increase in funding over the next three years - rising by £1bn ($1.53bn) a year by 2006 - to improve services for the care of older people. In March 2002 there were 4,691 patients awaiting discharge, compared to 5,938 a year earlier. Since September 2001, the number of patients awaiting discharge has fallen by 800.

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