At the end of 2011 it was reported that the Office of Fair Trading was recommending an investigation into the Private Medical Insurance Market because it believed it is not competitive. In particular, the OFT cited concerns over a lack of transparency for patients as well as a lack of easily comparable information available to patients, GPs or health insurance providers on the quality and costs of private healthcare services. The OFT believes this may mean that the full cost of treatment may not always be transparent for private patients.
Leading healthcare trust specialist, Healix, believes that healthcare trusts provide a much more transparent approach - both for the medical profession and for patients. As Bruce Eaton, Business Development Manager, Healix Health Services explained, case management is at the heart of making a healthcare trust a better solution for employers and patients.
"The key to an effective Healthcare Trust is the expertise and knowledge that goes into the case management" said Bruce Eaton. "The nurse-led approach which we adopt at Healix means that each claim is treated individually with a clear focus on the patient's needs matched to the most appropriate healthcare services available. It also means that any potential shortfalls in cover are identified up front.
"This means that the patient is provided with all the options available to them in terms of treatment - helping them make informed decisions about treatment they might want to have privately and treatment they can receive through the NHS. And this, in turn, means that employers who are providing this vital healthcare to their staff, know that their employees are provided with flexibility and choice in their treatment whilst we have a focus on cost, without it undermining quality of care.
"With more and more companies recognising the advantages of Healthcare Trusts over traditional PMI, we hope that the OFT will take account of this alternative if it decides to conduct a complete investigation of the PMI market" continued Bruce Eaton. "Indeed, at Healix we very strongly believe that, as the insurance provider market continues to consolidate, healthcare trusts provide a very credible alternative for employers."