Patients should be able to compare the performance of private hospitals and doctors before making their choice, according to the Competition Commission’s Health Market Inquiry (HMI).
The HMI proposed this week that an independent organisation, the Outcomes Measurement and Reporting Organisation (OMRO), be set up to report on the health outcomes of private healthcare providers.
It defines outcomes as “the results achieved for a patient after a given set of interventions”.
Improving choice processes
For much of last year, the HMI held public hearings into the private healthcare sector. One of its finding is that the public lacks information about how private health providers perform. It believes that public access to this information would stimulate competition.
The kind of information they want us to have include clinical outcomes (e.g. cure rates), how long it takes for patients to get treated at facilities, the infection rate in facilities and the rate of “avoidable adverse events”.
It says that the new organisation would be different from the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC), as the office’s role is to “ensure that the provision of healthcare complies with necessary healthcare standards”. In contrast, the new organisation will be responsible for “transparency of healthcare outcomes across the full spectrum of healthcare”.
Its aim will be “primarily to empower the patients” and secondly “to improve choice processes and incentivise providers and funders to compete on the right parameters of care”.
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