Radiologists’ fees - BMI takes unilateral action

February 2009

BMI hospitals have recently announced that they are imposing a unified national fee for radiologists for all routine radiological procedures. This does not affect invasive work which carries separate insurance reimbursements.

Traditionally the consultant and hospital charges have been bundled together and the proportion that each party takes has been subject to local negotiation that varies around the country due to local circumstances. This percentage has previously been agreed amicably between hospital CEO's and the local consultants.

The overall package agreed with the insurer is negotiated by the hospital. Insurers, BUPA in particular, have been pressurising hospitals to lower costs and the MRI tendering exercise by BUPA a couple of years ago resulted in some considerable cost cutting. The profession accepts that if the total reimbursement is reduced for any particular procedure or scan then the consultant should take a proportionate cut along with the hospital but this particular action by BMI is disproportionate and is deeply resented by the consultant body.

The BMI unilateral action cuts across all radiological procedures not just MRI This has affected local consultants around the country in a variable manner but many have taken cuts in reimbursements of up to 40%.

Further information about this will be posted on this website in due course.

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