Bupa News Update: Competition Commission Response

Private Heathcare CC

Bupa News Update: Competition Commission response. Bupa have outlined their response to the Competition Commission findings on private health provision.

Recently the Competition Commission (CC) made public the findings of its provision study of the private health market in the UK. In response Bupa have said that they have been working with the commission over the eighteen months of the investigation into private health care. Bupa have also called for there to be strong action taken to make sure that the future of the private health care industry is assured, with an emphasis being put on ensuring that clients have the best value for money from the service and that they can access high quality care at affordable prices. The aim is to open the possibility of private care to more people.

The CC have stated in their report that hospital groups will be strengthened by having local hospitals with the corresponding market power and make their use unavoidable in the main by both insurers and patients. Over all the CC identified one hundred hospitals across the UK that were, in their opinion, facing too little competition. They particularly highlighted hospitals in London that were subject to the least competition. The commission also found that doctors incentives were a wide spread practice where incentives were paid in cash or in kind. The incentives surround the areas of encouraging patient referral. This leads to concerns that referrals may be made that were not in the best interest of the patient.

Bupa News Update

In the area of transparency, Bupa reported, the commission found that there was not enough published information on hospital or on consultants and that in this respect private hospitals were lagging behind the information available in NHS hospitals. Bupa says that the commission found this to be unsatisfactory as it led to less informed choice possibilities for doctors their patients and for insurers. It was also found that the two biggest insurers Bupa and AXA had better bargaining power when competing against hospitals and in particular against the smaller insurer. The CC also noted that Bupa should communicate more clearly with their customers as to what exactly they were eligible and ineligible for under the terms of their policies and also be clearer and give more information on the consultants available.

Bupa have welcomed the findings of the Competition Commission which they say are in line with their own ethos and recommendations.

Click here for more information on Bupa.

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