Hospitals, private clinics bill up to €180m in unnecessary treatment

Hospitals and private clinics are billing health insurance companies for millions of euros worth of treatment which is not medically necessary and therefore is not insured, the NRC reports.

The paper says the wrongful payments total between €50m and €180m and come on top of an estimated €3bn to €4bn worth of fraudulent hospital bills currently under investigation. The new figures come from a confidential draft health ministry report.

Varicose vein and eyelid surgery are among the procedures often carried out which may not be medically necessary. Hospitals and clinics send health insurers some 20,000 bills for these forms of cosmetic surgery a year, although very few people actually need the treatment, the paper says.


MPs are now demanding the report be sent to parliament, ahead of Tuesday’s debate on healthcare spending.

Overcharging by hospitals and other healthcare institutions means the Dutch are paying some €300 a year too much for health insurance, health economics professor Wim Groot said earlier this week.

In February, the Dutch health authority NZa warned health insurance companies they face fines if they fail to check that hospital bills are accurate or inflated.