New healthcare bill makes patient risk more flexible
Minister Edith Schippers (Health) just announced measures for her healthcare bill in a press conference. It will become possible for insurers to charge a reduced amount against a patient's deductible if they go to a specialist that has a contract with the insurer. There will also be stricter supervision on mergers of institutions, in the revised version of the bill that was surprisingly voted down in the upper house of parliament.
According to Schippers, it is already possible to adjust the deductible charge under the existing regulations, insurers are not in favor of that measure. The new package of rules will make more money available for the elderly and chronically ill, which she says will make the flexible deductible more attractive to insurers, NRC reports.
With these measures Schippers hopes to realize a billion in cut backs, which was also the aim of the previous health care law that effectively eliminated many patients' ability to recover the cost of treatment provided by an out-of-network specialist.
"Linking more money to people who need care will make health insurers also focus on those groups." This should make health insurers focus more on better contracts with health care providers, she claims. Instead of competing on the monthly premium price, there will be competition on the excess.
Insurers will also be able to refuse repayment for treatment given by providers that fail quality controls. The minister has long argued that improving quality of treatment reduces the amount of time needed to treat a patient.
There will also be stricter supervision on mergers, NRC reports. According to Schippers, this decreases the freedom of choice for patients. The supervision of the sector will be monitored by the national consumer and market watchdog ACM. Schippers wants to combat some mergers within the competition law.
The first details of the plan were leaked yesterday.