The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) has recently gone to tender for the establishment of a new panel of private hospitals to perform procedures for people on public waiting lists, this newspaper can report.
In September 2017, the NTPF established a panel of private hospitals for the provision of adult and paediatric inpatient and day case procedures.
The 2017 panel agreement was recently extended for a 12-month period and will continue to operate.
In parallel with the 2017 panel, the NTPF has decided to establish a new panel to cover specific high-volume procedures across a number of specialties.
The NTPF intends to operate the 2020 panel across five ‘lots’: Adult day case procedures; adult inpatient procedures; paediatric day case procedures; paediatric inpatient procedures; and outpatient procedures.
“At this point in time, the NTPF has not developed a defined list of procedures falling within any lot,” according to tender documents.
“It is the intention that all those hospitals which secure a place on a given lot (‘panel hospitals’) will be invited to tender for the relevant procedures as part of a mini-competition process once the 2020 panel has been established.”
The NTPF intends to set the price for some of the procedures that will fall within the scope of the 2020 panel and these prices will be provided to the panel hospitals as part of the mini-competition process.
“Panel hospitals may choose to participate in the mini-competition process on the basis of the price(s) set by the NTPF,” the tender stated.
“For all other procedures, panel hospitals will be asked to submit prices as part of the mini-competition process. For the avoidance of doubt, panel hospitals will not be under any obligation to participate in any mini-competition process.”
The Fund also stated there may be some “small overlap” between the procedures awarded to hospitals under the 2017 panel and under the 2020 panel. The deadline for receipt of submission for the tender ended on 13 February.