The estimated yield of focusing on effective care in the standard insurance package

Commissioned by the Ministries of Finance and Health, Welfare and Sport, SiRM estimated the proportion of specialist hospital care that is ineffective and how to reduce it. To this end, we consulted a wide range of Dutch experts and international literature, concluding that the excess costs of ineffective hospital care amount to approximately 6% of total hospital costs, with a range of 1–12%.

The above research question emerged as civil servants outlined political parties’ policy options before forming a new cabinet.

We consulted as much of the available knowledge and evidence as possible in the short time available, utilising Dutch experts and international literature. Given the uncertain variables involved in estimating the proportion of ineffective care, we based our estimate on a wide range of sources from diverse perspectives. To determine the policy changes needed to reduce ineffective care, we canvassed key parties involved in this area’s existing policies and initiatives for their suggestions and insights.

We estimate the current additional costs of ineffective hospital care to be approximately 6% of the total of €24.3 billion hospital costs, with a range of 1% to 12%. Our analyses suggest that 80% of these additional costs are avoidable. With appropriate legislative changes and sufficient investment, we estimate that most of these preventable costs can be eliminated within 15 years.

Alongside a comprehensive outline of the potential savings, we detailed the legislative changes and resource investments required to achieve them in an accompanying policy option for political parties to draw from when assembling a new cabinet.

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