Why healthcare purchase negotiations are looking so bleak this year and what that means for you

An operating room at Amphin Hospital.ANP image

The health insurance transition period has already ended. Shouldn’t these contracts have been signed a long time ago?

On November 12 each year, health insurance companies must announce their premiums for the following year. From that moment on, consumers can switch between insurance companies. The Dutch Health Care Authority therefore believes that the “contracted care offer” should be “as known as possible”. Consumers then know which hospitals, psychologists, physiotherapists, and clinics health insurance companies have a contract with.

But there is no legal obligation, so practically no one in the healthcare sector cares about that flexible deadline. Negotiations continue every year until the new year, but this time is the most intense year of negotiations so far.

Why are the negotiations going so smoothly?

Negotiations between health care providers and insurance companies are like a cat and dog trying to agree on a meaningful daytime activity. Health care administrators are happy to complain about health insurance buyers, who look blindly at the numbers and don’t care what’s going on in the real world: aging, inflation, sky-high energy prices, collective labor agreement requirements. employees.

In turn, health insurers decry health care organizations that want to grow turnover, don’t even want to take away some care, continue to provide ineffective and unnecessary care, and don’t pay enough attention to the larger social task of curbing health care expenditures.

Now that prices have risen across the board this year, healthcare organizations are demanding compensation for that in negotiations. If it didn’t, at least 90 percent of hospitals would fall into the red, according to a report by Hospitals. Rehabilitation centers account for half.

But if health insurance companies comply with these requirements, consumers will see higher premiums next year than this year. And this was not sick more than ten a month. So the negotiations were gloomy and emotional, as the participants said earlier Norwegian Refugee Council and the ad.

NZA warns parties of ‘financial uncertainty’here to stayand “It can’t be completely beat in this contract round.”

What do I notice as a patient?

If you’re not careful, you could end up in the papers. If you go to a provider who doesn’t have a contract with your health insurance company, you will have to pay part of the bills yourself (unless you have an indemnity policy). In the case of costly care interventions in an independent clinic, for example, this can involve large sums. So check in advance if the provider you choose also has an agreement with your health insurance company.

However, there are important exceptions. Health insurance companies have already announced that patients can go to any hospital, even in the unlikely event that a health insurance company and hospital don’t contract at all. And if you were already treated by a provider who had a contract with your insurance company last year, it is regulated by law that you will be fully reimbursed for the costs this year as well.

Isn’t there another way?

If it is up to the Consumers Association and the Patients Union, for example. According to the Consumers’ Association, a strict deadline of November 12 should be set. And if that is achieved, the switchover period should also be extended, so that patients know exactly where they stand when they must take out health insurance.

patient union president Dianda Feldman wrote last month De VolkskrantWe suggest that if the purchase of care is not arranged by mid-November of the next year, patients retain the same rights to insured care for the following year as they had this year, regardless of whether the caregiver is subsequently purchased.

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