Recommendations for treating self-payers

To ensure greater transparency of fees for self-pay patients, PHIN recommends:

1 All 15,000+ consultants in the UK who offer private treatment publish their fees on its website in order to meet their current legal obligations.

Consultants should already be giving patients comprehensive written quotes for fees prior to consultations, diagnostic tests or treatment – as required by the Competition and Markets Authority.

2 All private hospitals likewise publish their prices to ensure that patients get a complete, transparent and fair picture of costs when choosing a provider. PHIN already enables hospitals to publish prices for common procedures, and some hospitals have begun to publish their inclusive package prices.

3 The private healthcare sector should work more together to ensure that patients can get a guide price for the full expected price of treatment and that prices, terms and conditions can be easily compared. These can then be published by PHIN. 

It said: ‘Despite improved transparency on price, patients may still struggle to compare terms and conditions between providers – for example, whether diagnostic, physio or follow-ups are included in a quoted price.’