Expatica news

Doctors overcharged patients millions

31 May 2007

BRUSSELS – Healthcare providers in Belgium overcharged patients EUR 5.5 million in 2006. This has emerged from figures from the Medical Evaluation and Control Agency (DGEC). This audit department at the National Institute for Illness and Disability Insurance imposed a record number of fines adding up to EUR 1.7 million.

Since 2003 this department has monitored whether healthcare providers like dentists, physicians and surgeons overcharge patients, either by charging excessive or unnecessarily high rates or by making careless errors in billing, to the patient’s disadvantage.

The authorised committee examined 123 files last year, 10 percent more than in 2005.

Most of this EUR 5.5 million came from operations that were never performed but for which the patient was charged. Doctors also charged too much for certain procedures and filled in paperwork inaccurately after a procedure.

Most of the times the care provider admitted the error and repaid the amount in full to the patient. The care provider is also fined in these cases.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news