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To anyone (public) reading these posts and thinking this is just about osteopaths grumbling about getting paid 25% less than going rate and 25% less than equivalent physio in the South's much much more.

BUPA have a policy called "open referral" meaning GP has to fill out form for "open referral" for surgery / osteopathy / physio...(anything), patient then chooses from a list of clinicians who BUPA have signed up to the restrictive & dictatorial terms and conditions (and fees) which may not include the specific clinician the referring GP or specialists wants that patient to see (or indeed that the patient wants to see).

In London and S. East many clinicians in many disciplines (not just osteopathy) are being forced to resign from their BUPA contracts because BUPA is driving down their fees etc. Leaving patients unable to see clinicians via their BUPA PMI who are specialists in their field (including osteopathy).

Furthermore, BUPA are trying to dictate the care pathways (no. of sessions, treatment protocols etc) from their call centre without ever having actually seen or assessed the patient themselves, thus further undermining and devaluing GP's and treating clinicians alike.

BUPA say this is all about trying to reduce the costs of PMI and trying to reduce spend on treatment provision but cost savings do not seem to be being passed on the premium payers.

Many medical disciplines and private hospitals are outraged by this. Not all Private Medical Insurers have the same types of policy, e.g. Cigna and WPA openly oppose BUPA and encourage clinicial decision making by GP's and treating clinicians. PMI providers should be trying to work with treatment providers rather than against them as BUPA seem to do, only this will ensure the best care for patients.

BUPA have been underhand in their dealings with the Osteopathic profession. For years they continue not allowed the same amount of outpatient funding for osteopathy compared to physiotherapy despite Osteopathy becoming a fully regulated profession, following the Osteopaths Act of 1993. Then recently they gave approx only one month notice to all BUPA registered osteopaths to sign the new proform. They gave the impression the new osteopaths network / contract had the backing of the General Osteopathic Council and British Osteopathic Association when it blatantly did not. They said fees would be based on average fee charged by osteopaths but in reality they have rigidly offered a fixed fee at 25% less than going rate in S. East country wide, even in Central London where practice rents are very high. If practitioner does not agree to this figure then they are denied contract. BUPA have denied trying to price fix or cap fees but a leaked email from BUPA confirms they are internally attempting to do just that.

By not allowing top up in fees from patients they are further restricting patient choice.

Furthermore none of these changes have been discussed or explained with the BUPA policy holders.

Patients and HR departments for corporates (not just osteopaths)need to complain to BUPA and The Financial Ombudsman.