CMA report will change private healthcare market

Forthcoming changes to the private healthcare market could lead to lower private medical insurance (PMI) premiums and new product design. 

The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) Private healthcare market investigation final report, published in April, announced a number of measures to address a lack of competition and consumer detriment issues in the market.


Joanne Anderson, senior healthcare consultant at Towers Watson, said: “We expect the changes to stimulate further developments in new product design, particularly in areas such as alternative delivery models and direct contracting with physician groups.

“Ultimately, the changes could act as a catalyst for the UK market to evolve.”

The CMA’s measures will crack down on hospital operators offering consultants incentives to direct business to their hospitals, which will increase competition.

The report also found a lack of publicly available performance information about private healthcare services offered by private hospital operators. Operators will now be required to provide clarity on costs and the quality of treatment.

Stephen Hackett, head of health and risk at Aon Hewitt, said: “The transparency around charges is an excellent thing and a long time coming. I anticipate that employers will see a change in their claims spend from this.”

Fergus Craig, commercial director of healthcare at Axa PPP Healthcare, said: “Hospitals and consultants have kept patients in the dark for too long and it is essential that they are given the necessary facts to make informed choices.

“It is now time to drive through much-needed reforms to ensure high-quality private health provision is both affordable and sustainable.”