Several people have reported to the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) of healthcare providers asking for extra money for treatment. In some cases it was a voluntary extra contribution, but that is also not allowed, warns the care watchdog. The regulator is therefore investigating the reports.
The NZa reports that the reports come from mental health care and physiotherapy. “These are payments that often have to be settled in cash,” said Tsui Ying Leung, spokesman for the watchdog. According to the NZa, the extra contributions were charged because the healthcare providers do not consider the rates that health insurers pay high enough. With the contributions they wanted to pay rising personnel costs, rent and energy prices.
However, the amounts that have been settled are not very large. ‘It is often about a euro to a tenner. (…). It should ring a bell when they are confronted with this, “says the spokesperson. She also understands that these are ‘challenging times’ in which ‘all kinds of costs are rising’, but emphasizes that ‘under no circumstances should the patient pay for this. That is absolutely not the intention.’
The NZa is investigating care providers about which signals have been received. They can then receive a warning. If they fail to comply, they may eventually be fined.