Dutch health insurer Menzis is changing the way it pays for treatment for some forms of depression, so that invoices will be paid on the basis of results, not the number of treatment sessions, the Volkskrant reported on Monday.
The insurance company says this will lead to better targeted therapy and, in the long term, lower costs.
The new system will be applied to treatment for non-chronic cases of depression in which therapy lasts less that a year. Menzis has made agreements with 18 large organisations which deal with mental health issues to accept the new method of funding.
Menzis is one of the biggest health insurance groups in the country, with some 15% of the market. Every year some 35,000 Menzis patients are treated for depression either via medication or with a psychiatrist.
Some experts have criticized Menzis’ decision, arguing that it is often difficult to determine if treatment for depression has succeeded.
‘Looking at the results of treatment is a good thing,’ said Menno Tusschenbroek, of the national psychiatric patients’ platform. ‘But there is a risk patients will miss out if insurers only look at the cost.’
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