This consultation is now closed. Please see the results section below for a summary of the feedback and a full response document.
The Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI) has received a proposal for a new information standard. As part of the development and assurance process, and as mandated under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, this consultation seeks feedback on the proposal.
The consultation runs from 07/09/2015 to 30/09/2015. Your responses will influence how the Commissioner Assignment Method is developed, released and scheduled for implementation.
Consultation feedback will be included in the submission to SCCI for its meeting on 25 November 2015. Publication of an Information Standards Notice will follow this meeting, with a view to the standard taking effect from 1 April 2016.
Before answering our questions, please take time to review:
the background text below explaining the aims and objectives of the information standard
and the two documents provided at the bottom of this page:
the CAM algorithm
the CAM algorithm guidance.
Why We Are Consulting
NHS England has developed an algorithm and associated guidance/reference documents (the Commissioner Assignment Method) which together describe how the Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) field ORGANISATION CODE (CODE OF COMMISSIONER) should be correctly populated by providers of healthcare and other organisations that generate CDS data. This field - ORGANISATION CODE (CODE OF COMMISSIONER) - must be populated with a valid organisation code which describes which organisation is responsible for paying for the healthcare activity described by the CDS record.
Commissioner Assignment Method
Ensuring the delivery of healthcare activity data to the correct commissioning organisation is essential. The data is used by commissioners for various purposes including establishing healthcare needs, planning delivery of appropriate services, carrying out service reviews and supporting changes in patient pathways, resource allocation, providing assurance and performance management.
Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) are flowing but commissioner code is not being attributed correctly in national data flows. This in turn means that any analysis performed on national data that uses the commissioner organisation code as a reporting item has the potential to be incorrect. Analysis of national SUS data by NHS England has revealed inconsistent and inaccurate allocation of commissioner codes by some providers and also the use of incorrect organisation codes, including the use of defunct codes for legacy organisations and invalid default codes.
The use of incorrect codes means that in some cases CDS records cannot flow routinely to the correct recipients as national data access solutions are not configured to release data extracts for these organisation codes. Data can also flow to incorrect recipients as Organisation Code (Code of Commissioner) is one of the ‘Reasons for Access’ used within the Secondary Uses Service (SUS) online extract service. It is also used to create managed service extracts.
The commissioning environment is using aggregate contract monitoring reports submitted by healthcare providers to commissioners to secure payment. However it is difficult for commissioners to reconcile the aggregate contract monitoring reports with patient-level data and also to use these data to support the invoice validation and challenge process. As a consequence it is difficult for commissioners to prove the validity of provider-reported variations in contract performance.
In order to address these issues, this new information standard is proposed to ensure consistent commissioner assignment application and CDS copy recipient addressing across England. The Commissioner Assignment Method (CAM) is an algorithm designed to enable secondary healthcare providers and other processors of commissioning activity data to allocate the correct Organisation Code (Code of Commissioner) in Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) - as defined in the NHS Data Model and Dictionary. This standard is intended to be implemented as a mandatory information standard on 1 April 2016.
The objective of this standard is to give secondary care providers the standard process logic and reference data they need to consistently and accurately identify the commissioning organisation responsible for paying for the healthcare activity described by a CDS record and then assigning the correct national organisation code denoting this responsibility within the CDS field Organisation Code (Code of Commissioner) within the CDS transaction record.
The Commissioner Assignment Method will:
provide clarity about which organisation codes should be used to support the effective commissioning of healthcare services in the current commissioning environment
provide clarity about the population (i.e. based on patient registration, patient residence or total provider provision) to be served by the different commissioning processes
provide clarity on the order of precedence for the various directly-commissioned services that NHS England is responsible for
provide details of logical rules / tests to be performed by provider organisations in order to establish the responsible commissioner.
As a consequence the following positive business outcomes can be achieved:
more accurate identification of commissioning responsibility in any national analyses of commissioning data sets leading to improved decision-making by commissioners
data extracts from SUS will contain only those records that valid data recipients have a legal basis to receive for their stated commissioning activities
more efficient and effective contract management processes, such as reconciliation of aggregate contract monitoring report and commissioning data set data, invoice validation and data challenge processes.
It is not anticipated that use of CAM will increase the burden on secondary care providers, as commissioner code allocation is an existing business as usual activity. The standard will be enacted as part of the providers’ contract monitoring system set-up at the start of the financial year and all that the proposed standard will do is ensure that this set-up is consistent across all impacted providers.
Feedback is sought on the feasibility of this proposal. Specifically we would be interested in receiving feedback on the logic and reference data used within the algorithm and whether the derivation is in line with local implementation and if not why not. We would also be interested in understanding if there will be any issues in the implementation of this information standard.