Hospitals to get green light to set 70% of treatment fees

Hospitals will be able to compete on price for around 70% of different treatments from next year, health minister Edith Schippers has announced.

At the moment, hospitals can set their own fees for around 35% of treatments.
In order to keep healthcare insurance premiums under control, the government will also change the way hospitals are funded, the minister said.
For example, hospitals will be given a fixed amount for an entire course of treatment, irrespective of how long a patient stays in hospital, the NRC reports.
The minister hopes the changeover will stimulate health insurance companies to make good deals on price and quality with hospitals and will encourage hospitals to deliver the best care for the lowest price.
Health insurers which do not buy in treatment wisely will either go bankrupt or be forced to put up premiums to cover the extra costs. At the moment, the government operates a safety net to help insurers which overspend but this is to be phased out.
Hospitals support the measures in general but are concerned about the speed of introduction, news agency ANP reports.

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