After we launched a tool with which consumers collect hospital bills in September 2016, more than 715,000 hospital prices are made available online. In a database of the Dutch Consumers’ Association, developed in cooperation with Open State Foundation, one can now find 715,774 prices of medical treatments.
The database includes prices of medical treatments of both insurance companies as well as a number of hospitals. There are 634,814 prices of medical treatments contracted by insurance companies as CZ, VGZ and Menzis. In addition 80,960 prices of hospitals can be found.
An analysis of the data by the Consumers’ Association showed vast difference between prices of the same medical treatment. These prices differ between contracted hospital prices of insurance companies but also between the hospitals themselves. Hospital prices would differ sometimes hundreds or thousands euro’s.
At the end of 2016, a week before our case at the Council of State to disclose prices of medical treatments, Dutch Minister of Health, Edith Schippers wrote in a letter to the Dutch parliament that she would ask the Netherlands Health Authority to develop a plan to make prices of hospitals open. Until now, no such plan has been sent to parliament.