Patient, Education & Research Costing System

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Patient Level Information Costing Systems (PLICS) have been in existence for a number of years and over that time a variety of solutions have appeared on the market promising advanced costing functionality, quick calculation times and advanced dashboard reporting analysis. Admittedly all of these points are important but unfortunately they have lost sight of the real issues facing costing professionals and national bodies such as NHS Improvement.

The two most common issues identified are:


One of the biggest issues identified with patient level costing is the lack of consistency nationally. Whilst the introduction of the clinical costing standards has had a positive impact, it is still evident that costing can vary significantly at the local level due to varied interpretations of the costing guidance. This has an impact on a national level where data is being used for the production of the national tariff and also where the data is being used for benchmarking purposes.

Data processing and quality:

The processing of patient level activity data for costing purposes is a big task which is both time consuming and complex. Activity data is commonly processed by many Trusts in its raw form resulting in data quality issues which in turn can lead to clinical disengagement.

Our solution:

The Patient, Education & Research Costing System (PERCS):

IMS Health – Albatross working in collaboration with Guy’s & St Thomas’ has gone to great lengths to tackle the above mentioned issues whilst also ensuring that the technology infrastructure is capable of delivering local and national requirements much quicker and with less resource whilst still retaining a very high quality consistent costing model. The solution is called the Patient, Education & Research Costing System (PERCS).

Consistent costing

PERCS complies fully with all national statutory guidance published by NHS Improvement. In order to ensure that the model is fully compliant with national guidance and user requirements the model is fully audited by a peer group review on a periodic basis.

Automated data processing and quality control

In order to process detailed and accurate costing information on a regular basis PERCS is heavily reliant on both the quality and timeliness of Patient Activity information. As such Albatross has gone to great lengths to develop a fully automated activity data ETL (extract, translate and load) mechanism to ensure that the information flow is both effortless and error free.

In summary the PERCS process is illustrated in the flow diagram below:



The PERCS costing engine:

The PERCS Costing engine is powered by Power Performance Manager from Power Health Solutions.

Cost to any degree – PPM has the inbuilt flexibility to allow costing to any level, depending on how much data is available from external feeder systems. Activity data can easily be modelled in PPM where no actual patient level data exists, based on existing data such as ICD or OPCS codes or on other elements. Where available, HRG based Service Weights can then be used to more accurately allocate costs down to the patient level.

Repurpose your General Ledger for Patient Costing Provide sophisticated tools to help you better prepare your GL for Patient Costing purposes, enabling users to easily move amounts between cost centres, create dummy cost centres and account codes, offset revenue against expenditure, and define how corporate overheads should be treated.

Accurate results – Built-in reconciliation and audit reports present accurate and consistent costing results. Each process is reconciled back to the original General Ledger.

Assign costs down to the service level – Assign costs down to the service and patient level based on duration, standard cost, or actual charge. Spread the costs across all services equally, or unequally using user-defined/industry-specific relative value units.

Fine-grained costing – consolidated reporting Perform costing at the fine-grained activity level (eg chest X-ray) and consolidate the results up to the patient, HRG, service, or any level.


Our consultants have over 25 years combined NHS Financial & Information Management experience. We have worked with over 200 Trusts, much of it in costing, finance and general management. We have gained a very strong reputation for customer service and delivery where we will go that extra mile to ensure that every job is completed on time and within budget. Over the years we have built up a very loyal customer base who will be happy to provide references and testimonials for anyone considering using our services.

IMS Health provides tailored consultancy in the following areas:

  • Patient Level Costing and Service Line Reporting
  • Reference Costing & Programme Budgeting
  • Data extraction (ETL) and Business Intelligence
  • Use of costing data including national benchmarking services
  • Clinical Engagement

Value Added Consultancy Services

Opportunities exist for higher value consultancy, particularly around complex analysis of financial data. Looking for unusual trends or patterns within millions of activities and costs is a complex and skilled task. Albatross has the skills and experience to deliver cost and income analysis and benchmarking services. Other areas of expertise include PLICS, SLR, Income Management, Reference Costs, analysis of reference costs results and index score (NRCI) with recommendations for improvement.


Key Features:

PERCS is designed to provide:

  • A fully automated Patient Activity Data load and validation process
  • Full Compliance with Monitors national guidance
  • Reference Cost Submission
  • Production of NHSI’s PLICS return
  • Production of the PCB  national benchmarking submission
  • MAQs score calculation
  • End user reporting based on QlikView dashboard technology

Reporting options:

PERCS will integrate with any front end reporting tool; however, Albatross has developed a suite of preconfigured reports and dashboards for the QlikView front end which are delivered as part of the overall solution. It is important to note that if the Trust has already got a number of QlikView licenses in place (regardless of what company has supplied these licenses) PERCS dashboards will be integrated into this existing setup without any additional cost

Data feeds Cont.

For customers who require additional support, Albatross offer an added value integrated data management solution, designed to load and validate patient activity information from any number of sources. The interface is driven by a product called Visual Importer, which provides advanced ETL (extract, transform & load) functionality. The data mart structure is much more straight forward than a traditional data warehouse because it doesn’t include the complex and time consuming patient matching process, the PPM costing application undertakes all of the patient matching and therefore there is no longer a requirement to perform this task outside the system. As a result the data mart is a lot simpler than a data warehouse and a lot easier to maintain. The data mart can be configured to be updated as frequently as is required.