Health insurer influence on care contracts under investigation


The consumers association Consumentbond and healthcare professionals lobby group VvAA are launching a major probe into the way health insurance companies agree contracts with care providers.

Healthcare firms say insurers have an increasing amount of influence on the care they provide and that this has consequences for the care system and patients.

‘Care providers are complaining about the increasing influence of insurers on what happens in the treatment room, ‘ VvAA director Edwin Brugman told news agency ANP.

The results of the survey will be published in November, ahead of the annual six week window during which consumers can switch health insurance company.


Last year, the Dutch general practitioners association published a survey which showed nine out of 10 family doctors are unhappy with the contract they have signed with health insurance companies.

Doctors are also angry that health insurers are trying to steer the type of drugs they prescribe and ensure patients are referred to labs they have contracts with for tests by offering financial incentives.

Hundreds of psychiatrists and other therapists have also refused to sign contracts with health insurance companies because they are fed up with the interference.

Some therapists told the Volkskrant last February they had been told by insurance companies when they may and may not use particular techniques, for instance for treating trauma.

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