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A legal take on the OFT report on private healthcare

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Bleddyn Rees and Bernardine Adkins of lawyers Wragge & Co make some interesting points, “The prospect of a two-year Competition Commission investigation will not be welcome to the principal market players in private healthcare. It will involve responding to lengthy information requests, giving detailed evidence and diverting management and legal resources to the investigation. And the stakes are high. It may be followed by the imposition of obligations that could shake up the business models of the current players and call into question projected returns on investment. Private equity owners of healthcare businesses are likely to have concerns about the possible effect of such an investigation on the values of the businesses during the period of the investigation.”


They add, “The report is also a shot across the bows of some established medical conventions, such as the traditional patient/doctor relationship. The NHS is increasingly coming round to the idea that the patient has the right to make choices based on precise information about its treatment options. The private market will also need to adapt and sought after consultants, as well as PH providers, may need to be more transparent and accountable. BUPA has dropped a number of BMI Hospitals from its approved list that suggests that the insurers are not entirely powerless in the private health market.” 

Private medical insurance news: 5 January 2012