Netherlands gives insurers access to patient files to detect fraud

Health Minister Edith Schippers during Prinsjesdag, 2014 (photo: Rijksoverheid/Bas Arps)Health Minister Edith Schippers during Prinsjesdag, 2014 (photo: Rijksoverheid/Bas Arps)

On Tuesday the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, adopted a legislative proposal that gives insurers the ability to look at the medical records of patients if they suspect fraud is being committed. This can be done without the patient's consent, provided that the patient is informed no later than three months after the fact, Motherboard reports.

The legislative proposal was made by Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health, Welfare and Sports and the CDA, PvdA, PVV, SGP and of course Schippers' VVD supported it.

This means that health insurance companies can look trough patients medical records base only on the suspicion of fraud. And that without the patient knowing about it until afterwards, according to Motherboard.

The idea is to help insurers lower the damage suffered by fraudulent claims, an amount of 11 million euros last year. According to Privacy Barometer, the vast majority of that damage can be attributed to fraud committed by healthcare providers or intermediaries. Patients themselves are only responsible for 1.4 million of the 11 million euros in health insurance fraud.