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Health authority to investigate overcharging by hospitals

Saturday 19 January 2013

The Dutch healthcare authority NZa is to carry out research into the size of bills charged by some doctors and hospitals for simple operations.

The investigation follows several claims that hospitals are charging health insurance companies high fees for simple treatments.

In one case, a hospital in Terneuzen charged an insurance company €1,066.73 for removing ear wax, describing the process as a 'microscoptic ear clean' and 'removing polyps'. A year earlier, the same treatment cost €110.

Other excessive fees noted by the NZa include treatments to stop a bleeding nose and to deal with tick bites.


The VU teaching hospital in Amsterdam is already under investigation for sending bills for treatment that may not have taken place.

Because most hospitals directly bill health insurers, patients only become aware of high charges if they have not paid the full own-risk element, and are then asked to do so by their insurer.

The own risk element has gone up from €220 to €350 this year.

Have you ever been overcharged for a hospital procedure? Have your say using the comment box below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

A visit to the house doctor (of <=5 minutes, you are told to drink tea or prescribed paracetamol anyway) is billed as "consultation, more than 20 minutes". Not much one can do about it.

By Robert | 19 January 2013 6:56 PM

Just tell us who these days is not on the take!

(To the editor: I hope I am not the only one that has trouble reading nonsense like: ogyawsg!?)

By The visitor | 19 January 2013 11:26 PM

My huisarts suggested I had a genetic profile test. I was sent to a special hospital and after a consultation I opted not to go through with the test. At the end of the year I got a statement from the insurer of all bills during that year and the hospital had charged Euro 700 just for a consultation!!

By AC | 21 January 2013 11:20 AM

Forgive me for saying so, but after a decade of living here, is there a dutch institution that is not screwing a profit anyway, they can. In the old days of trading the Japanese considered the Dutch to be the most arrogant of all the Europeans they did business with, but at the same time were impressed by their reputation as formidable merchants. "Where a Dutchman has passed, not even the grass grows anymore" a Japanese saying goes. I guess they meant that they even stole the seeds too? Nothing has changed eh!

By To coin a phrase | 21 January 2013 1:11 PM

I am a naturopathic doctor working in NL for 6 years now and I heard unbelievable stories through my patients. However they all refer opposite experience: instead of being overcharged, they have been refused any medical check until it was too late: a patient who got hernia, was treated with antidepressants because xr didn't show the hernia until was so big she went for a surgery and ended up on a wheal chair. A baby who was sent home 3 times from the emergency room, lost one 1 because of high fever and so on and so on.. so, I must admit that I find very surprising to hear that it in NL you can be suggested unnecessary medical checks

By Barbara Reale | 4 February 2013 9:28 AM

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