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Monthly E-Newsletter March 2007
Essential reading for the independent practitioner

 Editor: Dr Tony Hughes

A flier regarding the 21st May IDF Insurance Meeting will be sent out shortly to all members. WPA,
PPP & BUPA will all be represented at the meeting and invites will also be sent out to Norwich Union.
Standard Life, Cigna, PruHealth & Exeter Life. It has come to light that both PPP & BUPA are on
occasions not honouring their guaranteed authorization codes for patients. A number of insurance
companies are believed to be experiencing cash-flow problems. It has been reported by independent
doctors in the provinces that they are seeing their income drop by as much as 50% due to decreased
NHS waiting lists for operations. London is slightly cocooned from this trend. Two further insurance
problems have been brought to council’s attention:
A Consultant Neurologist member had phoned to say that when PPP discovered that he charged some
self-paying patients a slightly reduced fee compared to those with insurance, PPP insisted on back-
paying him at the lower rate.
A Consultant Gynaecologist reported that PPP had flagged her to her patients as someone who charges
more than her colleagues even though she has been charging the same BUPA scale rate for procedures
for the past 17 years. A view will be sought from PPP on these matters at the meeting on 21st May.
A problem concerning Medical Indemnity insurance fees has also been highlighted. The amount
doctors pay generally depends on total income after expenses. Practice expenses are set at 25% by the
MPS, but many London consultants have higher practice expenses due to higher cost of London living
salaries for staff. Again a view will be sought from MDU who will have a representative at the 21st
May meeting.

Dr Perring reported that he was helping a doctor who had objections to a non medically qualified
Healthcare Commission Inspector going through his patient records. He has in principle agreement
from the Healthcare Commission and this will be a trial run to see if Dr Perring’s intervention will be
accepted. There are still a number of queries coming forward with regards to whether NHS doctors
who also have a private practice need to be inspected as one doctor has received a letter from the
Healthcare Commission stating that all doctors need to be inspected. The position is still that if a doctor
has an NHS position he/she is exempt from inspection but the law is likely to be changed at some stage
to allow the HC to inspect everyone.
   Mr Harrington reported that he had recently met with Gerry Kennedy who had now left the Healthcare
   Commission Inspection Team to set up his own consultancy. He was very happy to help the IDF in
   whatever way he could and he and Kathryn Anderson have been asked to look into running a course in
   June on Preparing for Healthcare Commission Inspections which will be open to IDF doctors and
   practice managers. Details to be advised.

   Mr Harrington will produce a response to the White Paper for the next Council meeting. It is hoped
   that the GMC will agree that the soon to be formed ISAAC committee will form part of the GMC
   approved environment. Mr Harrington stated that if the Independent Sector gets its own affiliate status
   it will need to have the courage to refer doctors with problems to the GMC. Part of signing up for
   recertification would therefore be that the ruling of ISAAC has to be accepted.

  i.        Breakfast Meetings at The London Clinic, 1 Park Square West 7.30 – 8.45 am.
                 a. Wed 14th March – Surgery. Minimal Invasion; Maximal Effect. Mr Richard Cohen
                 b. Tuesday 17th April – The Future of Medical Journals. Mr Kamran Abbassi
                 c. Tuesday 12th June – Closing the Circle – the end of Cervical Cancer: Prof Margaret Stanley
                 d. Wednesday 4th July – Hot Topics in Neurosurgery. Dr Anne Mitchener
                 e. Tuesday 9th October - Breast Screening – Ladies with Low/Medium History of Breast
                     Cancer. Dr James Mackay
   ii.      Risk Management Evening – 15th March, Chandos House, 2 Queen Anne St
 iii.       AGM – 21st March, Chandos House, 2 Queen Anne St
  iv.       Leadership Symposium –26th April, The Medical Society of London
   v.       GP Meeting – 2nd May, The Medical Society of London
  vi.       Insurance Meeting – 21st May, Chandos House
 vii.       Preparing for a Healthcare Commission Inspection – June, details TBA
viii.       Jazz in June – June, details TBA
  ix.       IDF Annual Golf Day – June 27th, Royal Wimbledon Golf Club
   x.       Making your Practice Work – September, details TBA
  xi.       IT Practice Systems Workshop – September, details TBA
 xii.       Study Weekend 2007 – 5th – 7th October – Ciragan Palace, Istanbul
xiii.       IDFE Symposium – Health and the Olympics, November 2007
xiv.        A Night at the Opera - November 2007, details TBA
      Please pre-register with IDF Administrator if you would like to attend any of the above meetings.
      Tel/Fax: 020 8505 6995 or e-mail:
   The website is being renovated: apologies for any inconvenience over the next month.

   Have you got information that the wider membership of the IDF would benefit from hearing about? We
   welcome your views and comments, whilst reserving the right to decline or edit as necessary:
   Please e-mail Dr Tony Hughes or Fiona Merrick if
   you have any thoughts that you would like to share with the members of the IDF

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