Competition – news story

Court of Appeal dismisses FIPO healthcare appeal

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by FIPO in relation to the CMA’s private healthcare investigation.

The Federation of Independent Practitioner Organisations (FIPO) had challenged the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) finding in its final report published in April 2014 that there was not an adverse effect on competition arising from the exercise of buyer power by private medical insurers and the CMA’s remedy requiring more publicly available information on consultant fees.

In April 2015, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) dismissed FIPO’s application for review.

FIPO subsequently appealed the CAT’s decision to the Court of Appeal, which today unanimously dismissed the appeal on all 5 grounds.

In December 2014, the CMA appointed the Private Healthcare Information Network to provide independent information for private patients on healthcare performance and fees as required by the CMA’s final report.

In light of the Court of Appeal’s judgment today, the CMA can now bring the information remedy into effect, which would mean the website carrying information on consultants’ fees along with information on the performance of private hospitals. The implementation of the information remedy had previously been put on hold pending the outcome of FIPO’s appeal.

Separately, the CMA is carrying out a remittal on part of the private healthcare final report relating to the healthcare market in central London. Details on the remittal can be found on the case page.