Hundreds of psychiatrists and other therapists are refusing to sign contracts with health insurance companies because they are fed up with the interference, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.
The paper says many are better off without a contract because they are not limited by health insurance demands on fees or duration. And between 80 and 200 will now only see patients who agree to pay the bill themselves, the paper says.
For example, some therapists have been told by insurance companies when they may and may not use particular techniques, such as for treating trauma.
‘We have been ordered by the regulator NZa to make sure money is properly targeted and spent,’ said Dienke Hedemann, a spokesman for the Menzis health insurance company. ‘So we have to check if people were referred by a doctor and if the treatment was effective.’
Others say the privacy of their patients cannot be guaranteed by insurance companies and refuse to pass on diagnoses so they can be approved.
‘The care provider has a duty to serve the patient, not the insurance company,’ psychiatrist Kaspar Mengelberg told the Volkskrant. ‘A doctor should not talk to anyone about his patient and this also applies to psychiatrists and therapists.’
Health insurance companies are currently required by law to pay up to 75% of the bill for treatment if they don’t have a contract with a healthcare provider.
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