The Competition Commission (CC) has published an issues statement as part of its market investigation into privately-funded healthcare services.
The issues statement identifies the questions the inquiry has been examining, and its proposed approach.
Some summary points include; the effect of local monopoly hospitals and treatment specialisations; concerns over the power of local consultants; power of larger hospital groups in pricing negotiations with insurers; and barriers to market entry.
The issues statement does not imply that the Inquiry Group has yet identified any competition concerns.
The CC has been carrying out the investigation after the Office of Fair Trading referred the market to it in April this year.
The aim is to analyse market features that prevent, restrict or distort competition and appropriate remedy action.
The CC is required to report by 3 April 2014; those interested in responding to the issues in the statement can do so in writing by 20 July this year.