NHS charged twice for private treatment of Northampton patients

Three Shires Hospital

Three Shires Hospital

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A private hospital has been challenged on the accuracy of its billing after the NHS was charged twice for the treatment of several Northampton patients.

BMI Three Shires, based in The Avenue, treated the dozen Northampton General Hospital patients in May, and claimed the cost from NHS Nene, which distributes county health funds. But NGH, as it should do, also billed NHS Nene for the same treatments.

Latest board papers show that NHS Nene is now querying the extra charges, which relate to a dozen endoscopy patients.

It is also looking into a case of double charging by Ramsay Woodlands Hospital in Kettering for an orthopaedics patient.

BMI said that it had mistakenly believed the contract, which is to help alleviate national health waiting lists, was with NHS Nene.

A spokesman for BMI Healthcare said: “Although we only received the challenge yesterday, initial investigations suggest that a small number of cases may have inadvertently been charged to Nene NHS Clinical Commissioning Group when they should have been billed to Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust.

“It appears that Northampton General may subsequently have also billed Nene CCG which has led to the confusion.

“We have good working relationships and meet monthly with the CCG, and will address this issue next time we meet.”

In total, the extra charges were almost £10,000.

If agreed, Three Shires will pay the money back with a credit note or equivalent deductions in NHS payments.

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