Hospitals struggling to pay wages in May

19th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

19 April 2005AMSTERDAM — At least 30 hospitals in the Netherlands are in acute financial difficulties due to a new insurance claim system.

19 April 2005

AMSTERDAM — At least 30 hospitals in the Netherlands are in acute financial difficulties due to a new insurance claim system.

In the worst case scenario, some of the hospitals may not be able to pay their staff in May, without resorting to seeking commercial loans or delaying investment, newspaper 'Algemeen Dagblad' reported on Tuesday.

The Dutch association of hospitals (NVZ) said at least 30 percent of hospitals are encountering delays in the implementation of new software essential for operating the new insurance claims system.

The NVZ said the difficulties can be bridged if health insurers are willing to maintain the old system of advance payments until all hospitals have installed the new software. For this to happen, agreement of the Health Care Insurance Board (CVZ) is required.

NVZ chairperson Joan Leemhuis said the problem is a temporary, bureaucratic glitch and she expects agreement to be reached soon on an extension of the old system.

The CVZ and health insurers lobby group, Zorgverzekeraars Nederland (ZN), have indicated unhappiness with the way the hospital's association has highlighted the problems.

Walter Annard of ZN said very clear agreements had been reached on the introduction of the new system. Hospitals that needed more time had to seek an extension of the advance payment system.

He added that hospitals suffering financial deficits because of organisational problems had to quickly solve the problem.

Under the old claims system, hospitals received an annual budget from health insurers to treat patients. The system that came into operation in January imposes market conditions with more emphasis on price and quality of care.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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