The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has admitted that there were errors in its view that the entry of the Cleveland Clinic would improve competition in the UK private healthcare market.
The regulator said it had received new information which meant its previous judgement that Cleveland Clinic, due to open a new private hospital in Grosvenor Place in 2020, would not be an effective competitive constraint on hospital group HCA, which dominates the market.
The CMA had published its new findings in a document, Private Healthcare Remittal: Supplemental Finding, as part of its ongoing investigation into the UK private healthcare market.
The CMA revealed that it received information that the planning application had not been submitted to build the hospital.
Meanwhile, Grosvenor Estate Belgravia and the Cleveland Clinic's agents were still having ongoing discussions of ground rent values with "no indication or timing or certainty of receiving an acceptable agreement. "
Given such delays, the CMA admitted that the Cleveland Clinic's entry was unlikely to take place in 2020.
It also received information that the clinic was unlikely to offer oncology for "years or decades", meaning it would be unlikely to constrain HCA's market hold.
In addition, the CMA also responded to insurer views and admitted that its views of the impact of the divestiture of three HCA hospitals and its insurer pricing analysis were wrong.
The document also invited any parties to the investigation to provide any views in writing by 5pm on 21 July 2016.
The CMA is set to publish a final report on the remitted issues and any decision on remedies expected in August this year.
A Bupa UK spokesperson said: "Again, the CMA confirms that there isn't enough competition in central London, with HCA dominating the private hospital market and charging prices that are too high.
"This means that health insurance customers pay more than they need to for their premiums.
"The CMA has now accepted that there were errors in its analysis of remedies to solve this problem. It is therefore extraordinary that the CMA has still found no possible solution. Without remedies, customers will continue to be harmed for many years.
"Bupa will continue to engage with the process positively and constructively in the interests of getting a better deal for customers."