Parliament: MOH considering rules to make third party administrator fees more transparent

People waiting for their turns at a waiting room at Tampines Polyclinic.
People waiting for their turns at a waiting room at Tampines Polyclinic. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Health Ministry (MOH) is considering regulations to make third party administrator fee arrangements more transparent, especially if these fees are passed on to patients.

This is on top of the Singapore Medical Council's revised ethical guidelines, which already state that doctors should disclose such arrangements and referral fees if they are passed on to patients, said Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat in Parliament on Monday (Nov 7).

Third party administrators do not provide healthcare services directly to patients. Instead, they are involved in providing intermediary services, such as managing employer medical benefits and administering claims.

"We are also working with the Life Insurance Association and the Integrated Shield Plan (IP) insurers to ensure that their appointed third party administrators do not have any conflict of interest," Mr Chee said.

"In addition, the insurers should disclose to their policyholders any financial arrangements they have with the doctors."

Mr Chee added that his ministry would be monitoring the situation, and would make sure that patients' interests and well-being are protected.