Health insurers, private investors buy family doctor practices

Health insurance group Menzis and two private investment groups have bought family doctor practices covering 155,000 patients, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Menzis and private investment group Reggenborgh own 28 different practices, united under the umbrella Zorgpunt. And the wealthy Fentener van Vlissingen family own 10 practices under the name Arts en Zorg.
In particular, the involvement of a healthcare insurance company could be controversial, the paper says.
The national general practitioner council has already warned of a skewed system developing, whereby insurance companies buy in healthcare from their own companies.
Health minister Edith Schippers is also opposed and is preparing legislation which will stop insurers and care providers merging, the paper says.
But Zorgpunt director Arjan Hoop said Menzis’ role is limited to that of shareholder.
Doctors are also concerned that investors will want a quick return on their investment.

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