View more on these topics

OFT set to refer private healthcare market to Competition Commission

The Office of Fair Trading has made a provisional decision to refer the private healthcare market to the Competition Commission.

It made the decision following a report into the market which found unclear information on treatment costs was being given to consumers and that insurers could be undermining competition between healthcare providers.

It adds that the concentration of healthcare providers and insurers could be leading to the dominance of certain providers and to big insurers “relying” on those providers to offer national coverage to policyholders.

According to the report, some healthcare providers could be offering incentives to consultants for sending patients to certain facilities while bigger healthcare providers could be using their dominant position to impose price rises. It says these factors represent “significant barriers to entry” for new competitors.

The OFT says the concentration of providers and insurers, unclear information on costs and barriers could be “preventing, restricting or distorting” competition.

OFT chief executive John Fingleton says: “It is important that patient demand and choice are able to drive competition and innovation in this market, with a view to better value for all patients. We have provisionally decided that these significant concerns merit a more in-depth investigation by the Competition Commission.”

ABI director of general insurance and health Nick Starling says: “We welcome this report and the need to ensure a competitive market for high quality private healthcare. We agree with the concerns raised on transparency and support consultants clearly informing patients on treatment options and costs.”

Recommended

Bank rate could stay at 0.5% to 2014

The Bank of England has held bank rate at 0.5 per cent for the 33rd month. At its meeting last week, the monetary policy committee voted to keep the quantitative easing programme at £275bn. It was widely expected it would avoid changes while the European Union debt summit was held last week. IHS Global Insight […]

Pacific Life Re hires new head of protection marketing

Pacific Life Re has appointed James Tait as head of protection marketing. Tait was previously head of pricing and reinsurance at Ageas Protect. Before his time at Ageas, Tait held a number of senior roles at Munich Re and Legal & General. He replaces Alex King, who is moving to a new role in Pacific […]

1

Europe institutions clash over future of financial compensation schemes

The European Council is at odds with other European institutions over the funding model and maximum guaranteed compensation levels of the investor compensation scheme directive. The council says the maximum guaranteed level of compensation should be increased from the current €20,000 to €30,000, while the European Commission and the European Parliament say the new maximum […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment