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BUPA know that Osteopath are an easy target. For any poor or overly expensive treatments offered by a few Osteopaths, they will argue that draconian rules are the best way to prevent this from occurring in the future.

Rather than recognize the tremendous efforts by the Osteopathic profession itself to self regulate and promote a level of care and ethical standards that already limits the abilities of Osteopaths to pursue such a path. As it stands, such a practice would already be easily controlled by more communication with the Osteopathic profession as ultimately the profession decides those that are fit to continue to use the title, Osteopath.

Instead they choose to penalize honest Osteopaths who will follow such procedures and instead, the enforce bureaucracy will simply create anguish for both patient and practitioner who have to both be put on trail as to how much trust the name Osteopath carries with BUPA.

Yet paradoxically, the level of trust not given to Osteopaths is given carte blanche to companies that put a far greater strain and cost on both BUPA and its patients.

As example GSK, one of the world's largest healthcare and pharmaceuticals companies, admitted to promoting antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for unapproved uses, including treatment of children and adolescents.

The illegal practice is known as off-label marketing.

The company also conceded charges that it held back data and made unsupported safety claims over its diabetes drug Avandia.

It agreed to resolve civil liability for promoting asthma drug Advair and two lesser-known drugs for unapproved uses.

In addition, GSK has been found guilty of paying kickbacks to doctors.

"The sales force bribed physicians to prescribe GSK products using every imaginable form of high-priced entertainment, from Hawaiian vacations [and] paying doctors millions of dollars to go on speaking tours, to tickets to Madonna concerts," said US attorney Carmin Ortiz.
As part of the settlement, GSK agreed to be monitored by government officials for five years.


This scale of grand fraud is something that could never occur in Osteopathy, and we would be foolish to think does not still occur, yet will BUPA risk the wraith of multinational companies or systems that promote money over health? Or will they stamp down on a profession which puts patients first?


Now will BUPA put patients first?


As this smacks of aiming to appeal to shareholders. Yet, is it really saving anything for either BUPA or the patient.
The extra bureaucratic costs on both therapist and practitioner will have to be met somewhere. When you have a demand for something, increasing bureaucracy can often have the opposite effect. (GOSC take note)

Having a level of distrust to the point of interference simply means that either the patient or therapist will come to more creative means to get around such draconian measures and thus making the distrust a self fulfilling prophecy. Or that the enforced legislation is knowingly created, even though everyone can see it will be impossible, just it is a card they can pull out to justify any behavior to refuse insurance claims.

An example being terms and conditions. How many of you have REALLY read the terms and conditions on iTunes store fully? And how many disagree with all of it, but click on I agree anyway? This is human nature when faced with overwhelming irrational bureaucracy, but are all those that do click without really reading being unethical, disingenuous or naive?

It is also the same problem faced with piracy, rather than simply tell people piracy is on par with street robbery and mugging. It fails to understand why people resort to piracy in the first place. What makes a 13 year old girl resort to downloading her favorite song on the internet. Is it because they are hardened criminals, or is it simply human nature for what is easier. No one wants viruses or potentially legal action, but simplicity overrides complication.

Apple found this with Itunes, its success was based on an efficient simple ecosystem. The majority of people I would argue do not take to piracy to avoid paying, of course there are exceptions, as that will always be the case. People though are generally simple and are prefer simplicity and fairness.

Yet in BUPA's case they criminalize both the patient and the therapist. Promote a guilty till proven innocent through documentation approach, and somehow expect that this adds customer perceived value?

I would argue it is more likely it will do the opposite and create either more creative approaches around such measures, or simply displace the demand to be supplied by less effective and ultimately just as costly procedures. As example, increased use of medication, increased use of existing and allowable modalities, increased use of surgery to conditions and increased use of post rehab. As people aim to make the most of their insurance.

So lets see how BUPA really views its customers.