asked Her Majesty's Government:
What refinements are planned to the health resource group system of evaluating the costs of surgical and other procedures to ensure that those National Health Service foundation trusts with a high proportion of more complex cases can be reimbursed on a fair basis.
Health resource groups (HRGs) will be periodically revised to reflect changes in clinical practice and to make them more resource-homogeneous. A proportion of very specialised services will continue to be commissioned outside of payment by results, either by regional or national specialised services commissioning consortia. First-wave National Health Service foundation trusts can choose to have their baseline income guaranteed from 2004–05 to the end of the tariff transition period in 2007–08. In the mean time, in developing the tariff we are considering a policy of outlier payments for complex patients within HRGs.