Fees for nursing homes and private hospitals are set to increase as the cash-strapped sector is faced with a sharp rise in the cost of inspections by health authorities.
This could force a rise in premiums, as it is expected that service providers will pass this cost onto the consumer.
Both BUPA and PPP said it was to early to say what effect these changes will have on rates.
The changes will come into effect in May as a result of Government plans to make health authorities publish inspection reports, in line with a new `era of transparency’.
Charges for health authority inspections of nursing homes and private clinics are to go up to 40%, compared to only a 13% rise for council-run residential homes.
Paul Boateng, health minister, commented: “Charges for regulating nursing and residential homes have been falling behind cost. Health authorities and councils have footed the larger bills, taking money from hospital and community care.”
As occupancy rates continue to fall in care homes, returns are almost non-existent, so it seems inevitable that charges are likely to be passed on to the consumer.