Healthcare providers illegally charging patients extra to cover rising costs
The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) is investigating multiple reports of healthcare providers charging patients extra per treatment. According to the NZa, the providers don’t consider the rates they receive from health insurers high enough and say the “personal contribution” to the treatment is to help them pay the rising rent, energy, and personnel costs.
“These are often small amounts that sometimes have to be paid in cash,” the NZa said, adding that it received reports from various healthcare sectors, including mental healthcare and physiotherapy. “No statutory personal contribution has been set for these forms of care. Charging a personal contribution per treatment is therefore not permitted.”
The NZa is investigating the reports it received and called on patients confronted with these extra charges to come forward. According to the NZa, rent, energy, and personnel costs are already included in the rate healthcare providers are allowed to charge. Providers who fall under the Healthcare Market Regulation Act are not allowed to charge anything above that.
“It is up to care providers and health insurers to make good agreements about the reimbursements for the care provided,” the NZa said. They must not burden the patient with their inability to do so. “Healthcare providers who find themselves in financial difficulties must report to their largest health insurer.”