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Introduction to Healthcare Resource Groups

HRGs help you understand your activity in terms of the types of patients cared for and the treatments undertaken.

What are Healthcare Resource Groups?

Healthcare Resource Groups (HRGs) are standard groupings of clinically similar treatments which use common levels of healthcare resource.

HRGs help organisations to understand their activity in terms of the types of patients they care for and the treatments they undertake. They enable the comparison of activity within and between different organisations and provide an opportunity to benchmark treatments and services to support trend analysis over time.

HRGs are currently used as a means of determining fair and equitable reimbursement for care services delivered by providers. Their use as consistent 'units of currency' supports standardised healthcare commissioning across the service.

They improve the flow of finances within - and sometimes beyond - the NHS. HRG version 4 has been in use for reference costs since April 2007 (for financial year 2006/7 onwards) and for Payment by Results (PbR) since April 2009 (for financial year 2009 onwards).

HRG4 was a major revision that introduced HRGs to new clinical areas, to support the Department of Health's policy of Payment by Results (PbR). It includes a portfolio of new and updated HRG groupings that accurately record patient treatment to reflect current practice and anticipated trends in healthcare.

Our aim is to ensure that HRG4 suits the needs of the NHS and meets the requirements of DH in implementing the policy of PbR.

Find out about the background to PbR and HRG development.

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