Private Medical Insurers (PMIs) are keen to work more closely with consultants and healthcare providers to improve the availability of patient information and support delivery of the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) Private Healthcare Order. That was the message from the assembled representatives from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Aviva, Axa, Bupa, HP Alliance, Vitality and WPA at the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) insurers summit.

PHIN which already works closely with the private healthcare sector to collect and publish information on its website to help patients make informed choices, invited all the insurers for the first time to get them more involved in the process. The PMIs have a place on the PHIN Board and a duty “…to inform patients that helpful information as to consultants and private hospitals is available on [PHIN’s] website.”

Ian Gargan, PHIN Chief Executive, said: “We were delighted to be able to bring together representatives of the sector’s biggest insurers to ensure they understand our aims, that we appreciate their needs and that we engage them fully in playing their part in delivering the CMA Order.

“It was great to hear widespread agreement that it is in the best interests of patients, providers, consultants and PMIs to have healthcare information that is accessible, easy to understand correctly and, in context.

“For patients this means a better understanding of their options. For consultants and hospitals it can help inform their decision making when providing care. We see that when hospitals and consultants provide more complete data, they get more patient engagement through the website, so there is a commercial benefit too.”

PMIs supported doing more to promote PHIN to their customers at the appropriate time in their healthcare journey, and to engaging with the data on PHIN’s website.

PHIN will be looking to involve insurance intermediaries as well as organising further, more focused sessions on discrete topics to give and gain further insight into how the insurers can help ensure a successful delivery of the CMA Order, increasing participation for all types of stakeholders – consultants, hospitals and PMIs – for the benefit of patients.

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