New regulations/laws concerning Private Healthcare – Article 22   Leave a comment

Are you up-to-date concerning new regulations/laws for your private practice?

From 31 January 2018 new compulsory regulations were implemented by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) as recommended by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The reasoning behind this gives the patient more choice and a better understanding of the whole process. It gives more information to patients and keeps them updated about possible costs, treatments and generally makes the whole private sector more transparent.

Any new patient must be informed in advance about outpatient fees, both new and follow-up consultations and any cancellation fees that may be applicable. Consultants also need to confirm whether they have any financial interest in the hospital or the equipment there and provide a list of insurance companies they are recognised with.

The letter is required to be posted or emailed to every private patient (self-pay or insured) prior to their first consultation.

                                                                                    

The next phase of the PHIN compliance is required from the 28th February 2018.

Consultants are required to send patients information concerning their treatment and test fees following their first consultation.

PHIN has suggested that all letters are sent within 2 working days of the outpatient consultation or prior to the procedure whichever is sooner. Alternatively, if the patient needs time to decide whether to proceed, then the 2 days apply from the date of agreement for treatment between the Consultant and the patient. However, if the patient undertakes a treatment or test on the same day as the consultation, verbal confirmation of the details can be given to the patient instead.  This confirmation must include the following.

  • The reasons for the tests or treatments
  • Your estimated fees
  • Confirmation that the Hospital will make a separate charge
  • If insured advise the patient that they should contact their insurance company to get pre-authorisation for the test or treatment.
  • Inform the patient that they can obtain independent information about the quality of the private treatment offered at the relevant Hospital and other private providers from the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) www.phin.org.uk

There is a legal requirement to give this information, therefore it may be advisable to state in your clinic letter that this information has been provided verbally.

The news from some hospitals is that Consultants not complying with this will be in breach of the practicing privileges.

I hope you find this information helpful and informative. There may be some Consultants and PA/Secretaries that are not aware of these changes.

It will mean more work, but I do think it will helpful to patients, as some are unaware of the process and they will be able to make a more informed decision.  It should also safeguard Consultants regarding fees, as patients will be told in advance of costs and treatments etc.

Please feel free to interact and let me know your views and comments.

Cathy

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Posted February 20, 2018 by cmm in Blog

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