Healthcare costs reduced on longer consultations with doctors

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Insurer VGZ and the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen plan to reduce healthcare costs by spending more time with patients during consultations with doctors. According to them, the pressure to reduce costs in medical care actually leads to more treatments and therefore increased costs, the Volkskrant reports.

"Healthcare becomes more expensive by saving on time. The conversations between doctor and patient are becoming shorter. And as doctor you still want to do something in that short time, so you quickly decide to treat", Ab Klink, director of VGZ and former Health Minister, said to the newspaper. According to him, it is much better to spend more time with the patient - the patient and doctor will often come to the conclusion that no intervention is necessary, or decide on a lighter treatment. That is better for the patient, who suffers less from side effects of treatments, and financially beneficial.

Radboud UMC and VGZ signed a long-term contract which states that the hospital will be given space to spend more time in consultations to discuss all the treatment options with patients. The institutions believe that this will put an end to this counterproductive cycle of pressure on costs, higher efficiency and more interventions.

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