The latest research on the cost of medical devices is showing that the cost per patient per month has reached an all-time high.
The report from consultancy consultancy firm McKinsey found that for patients who received care from private health insurance companies, healthcare costs have increased by a third, from £931 in 2012 to £1,921 this year.
This has resulted in more patients being referred to hospital, more costly treatment and an increase in the number of people with insurance, the report found.
McKinsey found the biggest growth in the cost to patients came from a change in the way the NHS is funded.
In 2011-12, private insurers paid £3.4 billion to cover the NHS and it’s been rising steadily since then, reaching £5.4bn in 2020-21.
That means the NHS now pays for about a third of its services, which is a significant increase.
The rise is largely due to an increase of about 20 per cent in the proportion of the UK population with private insurance, which rose from 16 per cent to 19 per cent, McKinsey said.
It also means that in some cases the private health insurer is paying less to cover an increasing number of patients.
“Private health insurers have been able to raise prices for a number of reasons, including to meet demand for specialist care and reduce administrative costs, which have meant they can charge less,” McKinsey explained.
“But this has meant that the average NHS patient has seen their care cost increase by around 20 per year.”
The NHS needs to raise its game in this area and recognise that if it doesn’t it will continue to be hit with an ever-increasing bill.
“The McKinsey report was commissioned by the Association of Chief Medical Officers (ACM) and was based on the figures from the private insurance companies.ACM is the industry body for the UK’s doctors and medical professionals.
It’s been criticised by NHS England, which has said private insurance has been increasing healthcare costs at a “very alarming rate”.
A spokesperson said: “There’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that private health insurers are increasing the number or quality of care, and the evidence shows that they’re not.”
The ACM is also calling for more transparency in the health insurance industry, and for patients to be able to compare private insurance claims against their own medical costs.