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Competition Commission private healthcare review

Published: 13 Jul 2012

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) reviewed the supply and acquisition of privately funded healthcare during 2011. The OFT concluded the market is not working as well for customers as it should. Their findings were referred to the Competition Commission earlier this year. The Competition Commission are now conducting an in-depth investigation to ratify and further investigate the OFT’s findings and to consider, and put in place, remedies if they see fit.

Aviva Health welcome the investigation of private healthcare. We do not believe the market is currently delivering the best outcomes for private healthcare patients and private medical insurance (PMI) customers.

We worked closely with the OFT throughout their review and will continue to work and support the Competition Commission throughout their further investigation. We’re working hard to respond and provide supporting evidence to the Competition Commission, to help ensure any remedies put in place drive the best outcome for customers and support affordable and sustainable PMI.

Our initial response to the Competitor Commission was based around four, interlinked, themes:

• Patient pathway - the journey a patient makes, including the medical treatment he receives and the choices he makes.
• Extent of competition - the limited competition between private healthcare providers and the impact of solus and ‘must have’ hospitals on our PMI hospital lists.
• Availability of information - the lack of clear and comparable information on quality and cost, to enable customers to make informed decisions.
• Customer demands and needs - the varied demands and needs of different customer segments, and how these change between point of purchase and point of use.

We believe the limited extent of competition within the private healthcare market and lack of information reduces competition between hospitals groups and specialists. This results in inefficient delivery of care and higher costs, which ultimately results in rising and unsustainable PMI premiums.

As yet, we can only speculate as to what remedies the Competition Commission may put in place. We are currently considering possible remedies and how we will need to adapt and work differently to comply with these. We are anticipating most change will be around how we work with hospitals and specialists, but also predict changes in product design and claims management in the future.

The deadline for the Competition Commission’s final report is 3 April 2014. We will continue to keep you informed of all salient information throughout this unprecedented period of review and change.

In the meantime…

If you’d like more information on what we can do for you and your clients, call your usual contact at the Healthcare bureau on 0845 3000 649

Calls may be recorded and/or monitored. Lines open from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.

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