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Regulator’s findings on private health care 28/08/2013 The Competition Commission has published provisional findings on privately-funded healthcare services

Regulator’s findings on private health care

The Competition Commission (CC) has published provisional findings on privately-funded healthcare services, warning that many private hospitals face little competition in local areas across the UK, leading to higher private medical insurance premiums and charges for private patients.

The CC has also pinpointed incentive schemes, which encourage consultants to choose particular private providers for diagnosis and treatment, and the lack of available information on the performance of hospitals and consultants as further restrictions on competition.

The regulator has published a Notice of possible remedies for consultation on measures that could improve competition. These include:

  • requiring operators to sell hospitals in areas where they derive significant market power from the ownership of local clusters;
  • a ban on some incentive schemes;
  • prevention of ‘tying or bundling’ when an operator might respond to a loss of business in one area by raising prices nationally;
  • possible entry enhancing measures; and
  • the provision of better information on prices and quality for patients.

The final report will be published by 3rd April.

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