Formal contracts will replace informal relationships between Bupa and providers as the creation of networks gathers pace.
This was the defiant message to consultants and practitioners from head of provider relations Steven Pink speaking at Laing and Buisson's annual private healthcare insurance conference.
Seemingly undeterred by the fierce opposition from physiotherapists to Bupa's latest network venture, Pink claimed that "this is what customers tell us that they want."
"Networks will continue to be the major future of what we offer to customers," he announced, while admitting that they were not a "panacea."
Pink acknowledged that while some networks had gone very well others had struggled, possible referring to the insurer's difficulties in establishing an opthamology network.
Pink said the physiotherapy tender had led to contact with 6,000 individuals and practices and announced that the first phase of the network would begin on 15th May. He stressed that Bupa had no plans to limit the number of approved physiotherapists in the network.