Recently a family member in conjunction with his/her GP decided an appointment with a private consultant was necessary.
As the family member had private medical insurance through his/her employer, a phone call was made to the consultant suggested by the GP.
It turned out although not an MHM client, the consultant practice manager and I are old friends. So I made the call myself. An appointment was subsequently made.
The next day, my family member announced the insurance company had called suggesting another consultant.
My family member asked why. She was told the second consultant didn’t charge as much as the one she originally wanted to see.
Not a good thing to say. My family member insisted – and had to insist – on seeing the consultation of her choice.
I quickly found out how much the second consultant charged for an initial appointment. It was indeed lower.
Nonetheless, the appointment with the first choice consultant happened.
Two weeks later a letter arrived from my family member’s insurance company stating the consultant had been paid. But there was however a shortfall. The 1st consultant’s fee was higher than that of the second consultant. My family member was required to pay the difference.
The fact that my practice manager friend is pulling her hair out at the moment with the increases in shortfalls is not the point.
The point and the stark reality is that the insurance company were using finance as a criterion upon which to base the decision which consultant one of their policyholders (my family member) went to see.
And that, I’m sorry, is NOT right.