Independent practitioners could have more self-pay business if their operators were properly up to speed, according to an independent healthcare consultant.
He told the LaingBuisson Private Acute Healthcare Conference that ‘mystery shopping’ demonstrated there were pockets of good practice ‘but there are still a lot of operators out there that I would suggest are not fully fit for purpose’.
Richard Gregory, formerly director of market engagement at BMI Healthcare, said these doctors were not responding to what the self-pay customer was expecting.
Patients in the private sector wanted clear, consistent and competitive pricing, plus a high level of quality service and safety delivered in comfortable surroundings.
The service had to be flexible and delivered at pace. But any perceived weakness meant the supplier would not be considered.
Mr Gregory said patients also expected ‘swift and timely’ access to a highly personalised service. A combination of those factors would lead to greater business.
He told a mixed audience of doctors, providers, insurers and providers that operators needed to concentrate on consumer expectations and tailor the service to exceed these.