Top year forecast for private care

By a staff reporter

A record year for private healthcare in 2023 is forecast by Healthcode, which expects to clear over ten million invoices to insurers on behalf of hospitals, practitioners, practices and clinics. 

The official clearing organisation for the private healthcare sector cleared nearly 20% more invoices by the end of July compared with the same point in 2022. 

Total invoice value cleared up to July was approximately £2.5bn in funds that have helped private providers grow their businesses and care for their private and NHS patients.  

Healthcode managing director Peter Connor said: ‘After achieving great things in 2022, private providers are treating more insured patients than ever and we’re seeing year-on-year growth across every region, care setting and specialty. 

‘I’m proud that Healthcode’s technology is helping to power the sector forward on several fronts at a time when health provision is a national priority.’ 


He said these fronts included:

  • Rapidly cleared insurer invoices so providers can realise quarterly income of £1bn; 
  • A secure messaging service used by industry professionals to annually send over 350,000 electronic messages, sharing confidential information in support of patient care; 
  • The Private Patient Register (PPR), which now has over 38,000 registered practitioners and has become the sector’s information hub. Mr Connor said this was driving collaboration and streamlining the practising privileges process;  
  • The company’s new ICE (integrated channel exchange), making real-time appointment booking a reality for the private healthcare sector.

Headlines from Healthcode’s latest analysis of insurer invoice activity covering January to July 2023 include the following:

Episode setting

Between January and July 2023, the averaged year-on-year growth in non-hospital billing volumes was 27%, while for hospital billing volumes it was 13%.

The average year-on-year growth was 13% for outpatients and 16% for admitted patients. This reflects the different recovery rate for admitted care which lagged behind outpatient episodes after the pandemic.  

Medical specialties

Orthopaedics and trauma was the largest hospital specialty, with an insured bill volume of £53,000 in July 2023, up 17% on the same month in 2022. Over the seven months to July 2023, the averaged year-on-year increase was 11%.

Radiology was second – £40,000 in July, up by 13% on 2022. The averaged year-on-year increase was 15% over the seven months to July. 

Obstetrics and gynaecology saw the largest year-on-year growth in billing volumes in July 2023 (32%) with cardiology only just behind on 31%. Over the seven months to July 2023, both specialties saw averaged year-on-year growth of 23%.

Countries and regions

Hospital billing volumes were up across all UK countries in July 2023 compared with July 2022. Wales achieved year-on-year growth of 26% while the equivalent year-on-year growth in England was 19%. Scotland and Northern Ireland were 9% and 5% respectively.

All English regions saw growth of more than 15% in July 2023. 

The North-east grew by 30% while Yorkshire and Humber rose 25%. In London, year-on-year growth in July 2023 was 19% with the capital accounting for most private healthcare practice.

Healthcode released the data to coincide with its AGM in London which preceded an event to celebrating its achievements over 20 years and give stakeholders a glimpse of future plans.