Private healthcare provider Bupa and the UK’s biggest private hospital group BMI Healthcare have finally reached an agreement in their pricing dispute.
A 3 year agreement has been made between the companies that will see the majority of BMI’s hospitals confirmed on Bupa’s recognised hospital list.
Only 3 hospitals, BMI Gisburne Park Hospital, BMI The Lancaster Hospital and BMI The Castle Consulting Suite – remain out of the Bupa network.
Bupa announced last autumn that it had begun the process of removing 37 BMI hospitals from its provider network.
Bupa had previously criticised the pricing strategies across the BMI network, and suggested that the extreme financial pressure on hospital groups were being passed onto customers in the form of higher premiums.
But Stephen Collier, chief executive of BMI’s parent company, GHG, said it was unlikely that Bupa’s actions would change the way BMI sets prices.
The new agreement suggests that at least one side has given ground. Both companies said that throughout the negotiations, they had been committed to providing continuity of care for patients and “regret any inconvenience which may have been experienced by patients or consultants”.
“This marks the beginning of a stronger working relationship between BMI Healthcare and Bupa; one which will benefit private patients, the independent healthcare sector and the healthcare sector as a whole," said John Von Klemperer, managing director of hospital operations, BMI Healthcare.
Dr Natalie-Jane Macdonald at Bupa said: “We believe that the new arrangements provide a good basis to address the affordability of private healthcare while maintaining current standards of high quality care for Bupa members.”
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