News & Press

HCA Responds to Competition Commission Provisional Findings


28 August 2013

The Competition Commission (CC) today (28th August 2013) published a series of Provisional Findings and Possible Remedies on the private healthcare market. Overall, HCA welcomes transparency in consultant incentives and provision of comparable quality information. However HCA is disappointed that quality of clinical care and investment in innovation seems to have been ignored by the Competition Commission.

This marks the midpoint in the CC study of private healthcare – no remedies have yet been decided and HCA International will engage robustly with the CC as it considers the next stage of this review.

London has witnessed a strong record of new entry and expansion of private health providers in recent years, demonstrating that barriers to entry are low. The CC has a legal duty to ensure that any remedy is both proportionate and effective; it is difficult to understand how a remedy that would force HCA to divest hospitals in London could be justified on these grounds.

We deliver complex care in world class facilities, and have invested accordingly - HCA has invested 102% of profits over the past five years in new technology and complex care. It is our opinion that the Commission has not taken into account this investment, the mix of patients we treat, and the procedures we carry out in its pricing analysis. We believe that this has incorrectly led them to the conclusion that HCA is expensive by comparison with other players – something which we strongly refute and will of course be challenging.

HCA is proud of its record in providing patients with the highest quality of care in a safe, clean and compassionate environment and our 2012 patient survey showed that 98% of HCA patients would recommend an HCA facility to their friends and family; 99% are happy with the quality of care and cleanliness of their treatment; and 99.6% said they were treated with dignity and respect.

We are glad that the CC has recognised the progress the private healthcare industry has made on quality and price transparency and HCA has played a leading role in this. We welcome the remedy to improve information transparency. We would like to see greater clarity regarding relationships with consultants.

Keith Biddlestone, Commercial Director at HCA International, said: “Ten years ago, hospitals now owned by HCA were sold because they weren’t thought viable. Huge investment by HCA has converted them into world-class centres offering innovative, complex care in a safe clean, compassionate environment that patients around the world seek out every day.”

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