The government is expected to withdraw a bill that would have allowed health insurers to share patients’ details without their prior consent in an attempt to stamp out fraud.
The measure was designed to reduce the potential for fraud in cases where people receive treatment from companies that have no contract with their insurer. The costs for this treatment have to be reclaimed afterwards, but insurers had no way of checking that the correct rates had been charged.
Edith Schippers, health minister in the previous cabinet, drafted a bill that would have required care providers to share patients’ details and information about the diagnosis with their insurer so they could assess if the treatment had been properly costed.
However, the bill faced defeat in the Senate after the Labour party (PvdA), which supported the move while it was in government, changed its stance when it went into opposition.
Senators are concerned that the move would breach patient confidentiality because clients would only be told afterwards that their information had been shared with their insurer. They also said that the doctors assessing the claims were not sufficiently independent because they were working for the insurer.
Insurance companies said €27 million was lost through fraud from non-contracted treatment in 2017, up by €8 million on the previous year. In recent years insurers have sought to reduce their liabilities and the cost to the consumer by limiting the range of care providers they have contracts with.
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