An analysis of just fewer than 100 of the first responses from the consultant questionnaire in the UK shows some interesting trends. Practice expenses are rising for several reasons but one predominate feature is the rise in Medical Indemnity Insurance. The majority of consultants still charge according to insurance reimbursement rates but it is apparent that some patients will be facing shortfalls for consultants’ fees due to the rise in practice expenses and with the freeze on insurance reimbursements.
In terms of chambers, approximately 25% of consultants were working in a group, the majority in an informal arrangement. A further 50% of consultants are contemplating some chambers arrangements in the future. The consultants’ views about private medical insurance companies do show some variation between the four companies selected. However, because it may be considered that the consultants who returned the forms were self selected and thus that the results may be biased, FIPO has commissioned a MORI poll of consultants’ views. This MORI poll will be a telephone inquiry with consultants selected entirely by MORI. The results of the MORI poll will be published at a later stage. If you are contacted then do please help with this survey which should take no more than 10 – 15 minutes. There will be a donation of £25 paid to St John’s Hospice in London for every completed telephone interview.