‘Health insurers have no idea what psychiatric care they are paying for’

Health insurers have for years been paying bills for alternative therapies such as hypnotherapy and psychosynthesis without knowing what they were paying for, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

The payments were made via the EuroPsyche foundation, which runs a network of mental health services and has 1,200 providers on its books, the paper says.
But now the big health insurers such as CZ and ZilverenKruis Achmea have halted payments because many of the treatments are carried out by unlicenced practitioners or are not included in health policy cover.
The situation came to light earlier this week when EuroPsyche took CZ to court, demanding payment of some €700,000. CZ had rejected 279 out of 281 bills and told the court it suspects it has already paid some €6m to EuroPsyche for alternative therapies.
The paper says health insurance companies seldom check up on bills because it is not in their interests to do so. In addition, bills do not list details of the treatment given patients, allowing EuroPsyche to claim for expensive psychiatric care instead of alternative therapies.
EuroPsyche director David Rietveld told the court is is quite normal for mental health patients never to see a psychiatrist.
The court will rule on the case in two weeks.

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