Health insurance companies are forcing healthcare providers to sign contracts limiting the amount of care they can provide, broadcaster NOS said on Tuesday.
Research by the consumers association Consumentenbond and doctors organisation VvAA shows that three quarters of care providers are forced to agree to include treatment limits in their contracts with insurance companies.
For example, most to-up health insurance policies entitle patients to a fixed package of treatment, such as 30 physiotherapy sessions. However, in some contracts, health insurers say that the physiotherapist can only provide a limited number of treatments for some conditions.
Physiotherapists who feel a patient needs more either do the work unpaid, or tell the patient they need to shift to a new provider.
‘Insurance companies are acting as if they are healthcare providers,’ said VvAA spokesman Edwin Brugman. ‘That is not good for the relationship between patient and doctor. Agreements should never be at the expense of patient care.’
The health insurance association ZN has admitted such clauses do exist, but says they are necessary to keep a lid on spending, NOS reported. The organisation said parents were not being denied treatment they are entitled to.