Fee obscurity is shown in survey

By Robin Stride

A new survey backs up calls in Independent Practitioner Today for clearer information on fees in private hospitals.

According to the Private Health­care Information Network (PHIN), private healthcare prices are becoming more transparent but more progress is needed. 

Its criticism came after it commissioned an informal secret shopper exercise* and frequently found several exchanges with hospitals and consultants’ medical secretaries were needed to discover if the fees quoted were all inclusive or subject to other charges. 

Patients of consultants who did not offer a package price had the greatest difficulty. 

PHIN has now produced a guide and video along with a check list of key things self-pay patients can ask when considering treatment options and costs.

And it believes information published on its website this Spring will help patients compare medical fees before seeking treatment, including a comparative tool for regional price differences.