Senior onderzoeker Zorgstelsel en Sturing
The basic benefit package: composition and exceptions to the rules. A case study.
Kroneman, M., Jong, J.D. de. The basic benefit package: composition and exceptions to the rules. A case study. Health Policy: 2015, 119(3), 245-251Lees online
With the introduction of the Health Insurance Act in 2006 in the Netherlands, the basic package of the former sickness funds became valid for all citizens. The basic benefit package has been subject to change, responding to increasing health care expenditures, medical innovations and the economic crisis. In this paper we address the decision criteria used to assess the package annually since 2006 and describe some developments that do not follow the criteria, leading to a yo-yo effect. We discuss the formation of the decision for in- or exclusion and why some treatments seem to follow an, at first sight, arbitrary in- and exclusion pathway. We first describe the official way of establishing the basic benefit package and than will describe why some treatments follow a deviated path. We conclude that political pressure and pressure from interest groups may lead to inclusion or postponement of exclusion. Reform of the organization of certain forms of health care (in our example mental care) may lead to seemingly inconsequent changes. The yo-yo effect of some treatments or pharmaceuticals may have negative effects on health care providers, insurers and patients. The seemingly well defined criteria available for defining the basic package appear to be broadly interpretable and other influences may determine the final decision of inclusion or exclusion.