Extra fees limitation
The Europe Hospitals, 1st private hospital to limit extra fees to a maximum of 200%
The Europe Hospitals (St-Elisabeth site - Uccle, St-Michel site - Etterbeek) and their physicians have opted to limit the extra fees charged for private room care as from 1st January 2019 in order to guarantee access to healthcare in conditions of optimal comfort.
accessibility for all
When a patient is hospitalised, he has the choice between a standard ward room or a private room. If he chooses the second option, in some hospitals he would pay up to 300% more in extra fees. This maximum rate of increase is rarely covered by health insurance plans in Belgium. Some insurance companies also require that a deductible be paid for hospitals which charge over 200% more in extra fees.
The Europe Hospitals physicians have opted to limit the extra fees charged to a maximum of 200% so that patients who have health insurance will not be obligated to pay a deductible. This guarantees them maximum coverage of the cost of private room care. Through this initiative, Peter Fontaine, the hospital's Chief Executive Officer, is seeking to "enhance the affordability of care for our patients, while responding to the appeal of the Minister of Health, Maggie de Block, to make further efforts as regards high hospital bills".
This restriction of extra fees is part of a long-term undertaking, initiated over a year ago with the amendment of the hospital's financial regulations. The latter, recently validated, are based on a financing model that is brand new in which the physician is paid on the basis of quality indicators.
Dr Yvan de Meeûs, Medical Director of the Europe Hospitals, draws attention to the fact that "our physicians are resolved to not allow a two-tiered medical system to develop. It was our physicians who decided to limit the extra fees charged by being open to payment based more on quality and service and not solely on the number of procedures. It's a real step forward in terms of the approach to hospital care and we are very proud of our physicians."
In these times when hospital financing is increasingly restricted, this initiative is somewhat surprising: "The financial pressure is on", Roel Verhaeren, the hospital's Financial Director confirms, "but we do not want our patients to foot the entire bill". Eliminating all extra fees is, however, not an option at this time, as Minister De Block recently confirmed. We must not forget that only part of the extra fees charged ends up in the physician's pocket. A large part is dedicated to hospital operations and allows for investment in new technologies and accreditations. Thanks to these extra fees, the Europe Hospitals can re-inject money into medical projects geared towards all their patients.