Private healthcare customers to benefit from greater competition and transparency

Article date: 16 January 2014

  • Aviva response to the Competition Commission investigation into the private healthcare market

Aviva welcomes the Competition Commission’s proposed measures following their investigation into the private healthcare market, and the recognition that private healthcare customers and self-pay patients have not been benefitting from competition in the private healthcare market based on cost and quality.

The Commission’s proposals, published today, are in response to their findings that many private hospitals face little competition in local areas across the UK. This has led to higher prices for insured and self-pay patients by those private hospital operators with market power in many local areas.

Mark Noble, managing director at Aviva UK Health, said: “The proposal that some hospital groups should divest hospitals to increase competition in certain local markets, including in London and Greater London areas, is good news for private customers, their insurers, and self-pay patients who ultimately have been paying higher prices.

“For too long the market and its customers have not been benefitting from competition based on cost and quality and have lacked the information needed to change this. As patients and their GPs have not been able to make informed decisions, there has been little reason for hospital groups and consultants to adopt a healthy, competitive approach to pricing.

“We have been working hard to improve this situation for our customers and the remedies proposed will help. However, we are disappointed that the Competition Commission haven’t taken the opportunity to change the way that hospitals and insurers negotiate.

“Their earlier findings were that insurers were not able to fully balance the power of the hospital groups and the proposed remedies do not change this.

“Private medical insurance provides an incredibly valuable benefit for both consumers and the corporate market. These proposals will help the industry deliver the high quality medical care and treatment that customers expect, and will make performance and quality measures more transparent as well as the costs.”

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