Any Willing Provider
A dramatic change is coming to the British health system. Once the General Practitioners' Consortia (GPs) take over commissioning services for the patients in their catchment areas, they can purchase services from "any willing provider."
Currently private practices exist, but mainly it is private-pay and private-insurance patients who get treated there. They are generally not NHS-approved providers. In the future, the NHS will work more like Medicare and Medicaid, providing payment for services but not actually providing some or all of the services themselves.
What does that mean for UK physios? In the words of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, "physios will have to prove that they are not just clinically effective, but cost effective too. And there is going to be a much bigger focus on providing data and evidence to support this." (Frontline. November 17, 2011. 16:20. p. 20.)
The UK is now very keen on qualitative feedback such as patient stories about their experience and feedback from employees about their perceptions of care. My last posting demonstrated the lack of objective outcomes. I'm thinking those objective measures might suddenly become more important when the GPs take over.
I hear a lot of clinicians voice fear about the upcoming changes. I would too if I had never worked in a market-driven environment before. Now I'm wondering if it might be time to start my own business. I think I positioned rather well for the changes that are coming.