What does 'open referral' mean?
Well, previously what would happen without open referral is that someone who was requiring treatment that the private medical insurance policy they held covered them for, they would be given the name of a consultant by their doctor. With open referral, instead of the patient being referred to a consultant in this way, they are provided with a list of consultants by their insurer - and they make the choice from this list.
Currently, open referral isn't the most common choice for big organisations, but the insurer's direcotr of sales and client relationships has said that the company hopes that this will be the default choice within two to there years.
One of the big benefits of PMI - whether you purchase a policy for yourself or its provided by an employer is the aspect of choice - and open referral being rolled out to more hospitals will certainly give corporate clients a wider choice.
It was also reported recently that sales of business health insurance have increased year on year - perhaps down to a continuing need for firms to attract and retain the best staff as the competition for talent remauns strong. Of course it's also the case that - as studies have shown - providing staff with wellbeing benefits has the potential to postively affect sickness absence in terms of reducing it, as well as increase employee engagement rates.