Copyright 2017, Slawomir Olzacki, licensed via EyeEm Mobile GmbH

Big differences in what hospitals charge for the same operation

The Christian Health Mutual’s Hospital barometer has once again revealed big differences in the amount hospitals charge for the same treatment. With around 40.5 million members, the Christian Health Mutual (CM) is Belgium’s biggest mutual health insurance provider. In a press statement discussing the results of what was the 15th Hospital barometer, CM questions the addition charges levied by some hospital as well demanding transparency as to how hospital and individual doctors share funding out between them.      

A stay in a hospital room designed to accommodate two or more people costs an average of 6 times less than a stay in a single room. This is because doctors and consultants are not allowed to demand extra payments on top of their standard fees to those being treated in rooms designed for two or more patients. Last year these additional fees rose 4.7% above the rate of inflation.   

Currently, those opting for a single room during their hospital stay pay an average of 1,619 euro in fess out of their own pocket. This is compares with an average of 278 euro for those staying in share rooms or in multi-bed rooms or wards. These figures are above the standard amounts the hospital receive from the health mutuals that (usually) cover the lion’s share of the costs.   

However, the choice of a shared or multi-bed room doesn’t all guarantee you a modest bill at the end of your treatment. The Hospital Barometer reveals that some hospital levy a host of surcharges that make staying in a two or multi-bed room almost as expensive as staying in a single room.

The Christian Health mutual is in favour of transferring some of charges that are currently met by special hospilisation insurance cover to the remit of standard health cover offered by the health mutuals.  

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