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Switzerland takes step to curb health costs

The twelve measures selected will be the subject of a consultation in the autumn.


Devdiscourse News Desk
Updated: 31-03-2018 19:26 IST
Switzerland takes step to curb health costs

Each medical procedure corresponds more or less to a price fixed in advance. (Image credit: Pixabay)

The Federal Council is determined to curb the costs of health. They adopted twelve measures which are part of a vast catalog that was proposed by international experts in 2017. According to this Areopagus, 20 of medical benefits issued per year are superfluous which represents more than 15 billion francs.

The twelve measures selected will be the subject of a consultation in the autumn. Here are the overviews regarding those 12 measures:

Better control the bills of care providers

The health insurers do not control the bills enough. It is planned, as is done in Germany, to intensify this control. By creating an independent control body that would specialize in this task.

The Federal Council believes that this will lead to more efficiency and substantial savings. Council also wants the patient to always receive an understandable copy of the care bill issued by a doctor or hospital. The Federal Council sees a double benefit: a control of the patient on the relevance of its bill and an awareness of the population to the cost of care, as per Home24.

Promote outpatient packages

Each medical procedure corresponds more or less to a price fixed in advance. Some doctors have the unfortunate tendency to multiple acts to increase their turnover. To circumvent this pitfall, the Federal Council advocates the development of a flat rate for the treatment of an illness or an operation. This would kill two birds with one stone: it eliminates the incentive to increase the number of medical procedures and simplifies the control of bills, as per Home24.

Use the cheapest drugs

The Federal Council also wants to save money on medicines. For identical effects, the cheapest drugs should always be used. To do this, the Confederation sets a reference price for medicines whose patent has expired. According to Home24, this price would take into account what is done abroad. What if the patient insists on using a more expensive drug? This would still be possible but the person should take the difference with the reference price out of his pocket.

Improve the steering of the health system

According to Home24, there is no real boss in that neither the Confederation, the cantons, the insurers nor the medical providers really have the power to dictate the way forward. The Federal Council wants physicians, hospitals, and insurers to provide cost and benefit measures in their tariff agreements and also wants the cantons to be no longer judges and parties concerning the pricing of hospital services.

COUNTRY : Switzerland