Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) have published new information that enables patients to compare medical fees before seeking treatment, including regional differences in price. However, PHIN also warns that medical fees are just one part of the total price of private healthcare, and that work remains to do to bring full transparency to fees and charges for patients.
Approximately one in four private healthcare procedures in the UK are people paying for their own treatment (‘self-pay’), which is around 200,000 procedures per year. The other 75 per cent are covered by private medical insurance.
Consultants had to disclose their fees for self-pay patients after a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation found that the lack of transparency was unfair to consumers. PHIN was appointed by CMA to collect fee data from consultants and began publishing that information online at the end of April 2019.
On PHIN’s website patients can find information about local specialists offering the treatment they need, including professional fees. PHIN has also launched a new comparative tool to show how prices vary nationally by procedure. It shows the typical fees charged by consultants for initial consultations, treatment, and follow-up consultations for the most common elective procedures performed privately in the UK.
PHIN’s data confirms that for initial and follow-up consultations, and many procedures there is a premium to pay for treatment in London. Whereas cataract surgery, the most common private procedure in the UK, is most expensive in the South West, according to the data submitted to PHIN.