A new legal requirement came into force at the beginning of this month requiring consultants offering private treatment or consultations to publish the typical fees they charge patients in the UK. The requirement is being implemented by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) – the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)-mandated ‘information organisation’ responsible for publishing independent information for patients on safety, quality and costs in private healthcare. An investigation by the CMA found a lack of transparency in the charges patients can expect to pay when accessing private care.
Consultants treating privately funded patients in the UK are being invited by PHIN to submit the typical fees they charge to self-pay patients. The initial stage will see the 1,600 plus consultants already appearing on PHIN’s website, where information on the scope of the treatment they provide is available alongside the average length of stay their patients stay following treatment. Remaining consultants will be contacted throughout the first quarter of 2019, with PHIN aiming to publish this information for patients on its website from April.
Hospitals are also being invited to submit their ‘inclusive package’ prices – where the consultants’ fee is rolled into the hospital’s charges and presented as a single cost to the patient. This will enable PHIN to provide patients with a complete view of the price patients can expect to pay.
- PHIN UK: https://www.phin.org.uk/news/213/phin-news-new-legal-requirement-on-consultant
- Private Healthcare Information Network: https://www.phin.org.uk/
- Private Healthcare Market Investigation Order 2014: The orders provide measures to increase the availability of information to patients on both consultant fees and the performance of consultants and private hospitals