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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 56 (2014) 9, 586 - 594

Essay

Increased financial risks for health insurers: a challenge for providers of mental health care in the Netherlands

P.J. Daansen, J. van Schilt

background As from 2014 Dutch health insurance companies will bear the full financial risk for their clients in mental health care. Over the next years the existing risk settlement shared between insurance companies will gradually be brought to a close. Municipalities and the Ministry of Justice are already responsible for or will soon become responsible for financing health care for adolescents, patients with severe psychiatric disorders and forensic psychiatric patients. As a result, the health insurance companies are beginning to impose ever stricter conditions regarding the care ‘product’ they are ‘buying’.
aim To study the possible consequences, for mental health care institutions, of the increased risk to be borne by health care insurers.
method Use was made of relevant marketing literature and literature relating to mental health care.
results Studies of Dutch mental health care literature indicate that in the future the purchasing procedure will no longer consider the immediate treatment outcome as the sole performance indicator but will also take into account additional factors such as long-term improvements in patients’ health, customer satisfaction and degree of patient participation, patient empowerment and autonomy.
conclusion In formulating the details of their health products and business strategies, health care providers will now have to take into account not only the efficacy of the treatment they provide but also the purchasing policy and strategy of the health insurance companies.

keywords market economy in Dutch healthcare, purchase of care, performance indicators mental health care