Initial submissions made in Competition Commission private healthcare market probe

Insurers, doctors and hospitals air their views

The first batch of initial submissions to the Competition Commission’s (CC) investigation into the private healthcare market have been made by private medical insurance (PMI) providers, independent sector hospital groups and doctors’ representative bodies.

The submissions form an important early step in the CC’s administrative timetable as it continues its probe into how the private healthcare market works, amid the different parties’ various concerns over cost and value for money, patient choice and clinical freedom.

Last month, the Office of Fair Trading announced its decision to refer the private healthcare market to the CC for further investigation, because in its view the market “could work better” for patients. The OFT said at the time that there are “reasonable grounds” for suspecting that there are features of the market that prevent, restrict or distort competition.

Following the publication of initial submissions – available on the CC’s website – there are a number of other stages that the investigation could go through. The CC said the investigation could continue until April 2014.

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