Private healthcare market investigation

The CMA has completed its remittal into the private healthcare market and is consulting on bringing Article 22 of the 2014 Order into force.

Read the full news story for the CAT’s ruling on the private healthcare remittal.

Implementation of Article 22 of the 2014 Order


Administrative timetable (updated 28.2.17)

Hearing summary

Responses to decision on material change of circumstances

Provisional decision on material change of circumstances

Responses to notice of intention

Notice of intention

Remedy group appointed

10 October 2016: Following the publication of the final report on private healthcare, the remedy group was appointed on 21 September.

Roger Witcomb (Chairman), Anne Lambert and Tony Morris



Date of remittal: 12.1.15

Full administrative timetable (updated on 18.7.16)



Remittal final report

Responses to remittal supplemental provisional decision on remedies

Remittal provisional decision on remedies

Hearing summaries

As part of its evidence-gathering process, the CMA is holding hearings with a range of industry customers and interested parties.

Responses to the working papers

Responses to remittal provisional decision on remedies


Working papers

Summaries of response hearings

Responses to provisional findings and notice of possible remedies

Provisional findings and notice of possible remedies

10 November 2015: The CMA has provisionally found that lack of price competition is harming customers, after re-examining private healthcare in central London.


Initial submissions

Responses to invitation to comment and submit further evidence


Inquiry remittal group appointed

9 March 2015: The members of the group are:

Roger Witcomb (Chairman), Tony Morris, Anne Lambert, Jeremy Peat, and Jonathan Whiticar.

Phase 2

Date of referral: 04.04.12 Statutory deadline: 03.04.14

Decisions on appeals


1 December 2014: The CMA has approved arrangements proposed by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) to establish an organisation which will provide information on hospitals and consultants for patients via an independent public website.

17 October 2014: The CMA has published notices inviting expressions of interest.

Final order

1 October 2014: The CMA has published a final order following its investigation into the private healthcare market.

Draft orders

8 September 2014: The CMA has published a modified draft order for consultation. This covers the PPU, clinician incentive and information remedies as set out in the final report.

15 July 2014: The CMA is consulting on a draft order covering the PPU, clinician incentive and information remedies as set out in the final report.

Final report

Core documents


The CMA has accepted undertakings given by HCA in relation to the requirement for it to divest either the London Bridge and the Princess Grace hospitals or the Wellington Hospital including the Wellington Hospital Platinum Medical Centre.

Provisional findings report

Date published: 02.09.13

Annotated issues statement


Working papers



Responses to provisional decision on remedies

Summaries of response hearings held with parties

Responses to provisional findings report and notice of possible remedies




HCA International Limited

Nuffield Health

Ramsay Health Care (UK) Limited

Spire Healthcare

Ulster Independent Clinic

Responses to working papers

Divestment options paper

Empirical analysis methodology of price outcomes in negotiations between hospital operators and insurers

Entry & expansion case studies

Local competition assessment of hospitals of potential concern

Information availability

Price-concentration analysis for self-pay patients

Private Healthcare in central London: horizontal competitive constraints


Responses to annotated issues statement

Summaries of hearings held with parties

Responses to issues statement

Initial submissions - Third Parties

Initial submissions - Main Parties


News releases

Phase 1


The OFT, in exercise of its powers under Sections 131 and 133 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act) has referred the supply and acquisition of PH in the UK to the Competition Commission for investigation.

Summary of work

The OFT has decided to refer the market for Private Health (PH) to the Competition Commission for a market investigation.

On 8 December 2011, the OFT published a consultation document setting out the provisional decision to refer to the PH market in the UK to the CC and opened a public consultation. The consultation document set out a number of features that the OFT considered, individually or in combination, prevent, restrict or distort competition in this market. We consider that these features of the PH market impair the ability of patients, GPs and PMI providers to choose between competing service providers, including new entrants, on the basis of superior quality of services to patients and better value for money.

The consultation closed on 30 January 2012. Having carefully considered all the comments and evidence received during the consultation, the OFT continues to be of the view that there are a number of features that, individually or in combination, prevent, restrict or distort competition in this market.

The features identified are:

Information asymmetries - the shortage of accessible, standardised and comparable information appears to weaken the ability of patients and GPs to drive efficiencies and stimulate enhanced competition between rival PH facilities and between consultants, and may give rise to a dampening of competition in the market overall.

Concentration - the PH provider market appears to be concentrated at the national level. At the local level there appear to be areas of high concentration, such as areas where there is no alternative fascia PH facility within a 30-minute drive time of a PH facility (solus PH facilities). The existence of solus and PH facilities means that PMI providers appear to be dependent on the PH providers that own these facilities in order to provide local access for their policyholders. The size of the larger PMI providers appears to result in a degree of buyer power. However, their ability to exercise this may be limited.

44% of anaesthetists are part of an Anaesthetist Group (AG). The prevalence of AG groups is also a feature of the market which may reduce price competition in local markets (particularly in view of switching costs such as the costs associated with postponing treatment or travelling to an alternative facility).

Barriers to entry - we consider that a number of features of the PH market combine to create significant barriers to entry. For example, some larger PH providers can impose price rises or set other conditions should a PMI provider recognise a new entrant on its network. There also appear to be direct and indirect incentives given by PH providers to consultants, which could raise those barriers further.

Start date: 10 March 2011, MIR completed 4 April 2012.

Related documents

Press releases

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