May 31st 2015
Baclofen is a promising new drug for severe alcohol addiction that can be used in outpatient treatments. Since this strategy has not been adopted by mainstream healthcare services, it has remained inaccessible to a large group of alcohol addicts in the Netherlands.
By providing advice and financial support, Cinderella helped the Amsterdam-based Stichting voor Alcoholverslavingszorg (foundation for the care and treatment of alcohol addiction) to set up a low-threshold treatment facility that offered outpatient treatment for alcohol addicts, using baclofen as a first-line treatment option.
The clinic opened its doors mid-2014, but was forced to close down as early as January 2015 due to a lack of funds. Unfortunately, it proved impossible to conclude the necessary contracts with the health insurers for 2015. This in turn meant that the budget for 2016 could not be balanced. The insurers also refused to compensate 75% of the costs, despite being obligated to do so under section 13 of the Dutch Healthcare Insurance Act (Zorgverzekeringswet)*. Their refusal contributed to an insufficient number of clients attending the clinic, making it impossible for it to continue.
This example demonstrates how new initiatives in health care can be undermined by the unrealistic demands made by health care insurers.
A detailed report can be found at www.cinderella-tx.org under final reports.
The Stichting voor Alcoholverslavingszorg (foundation for the care and treatment of alcohol addiction) is a non-profit foundation.
* According to the Dutch Supreme Court, section 13 of the Healthcare Insurance Act contains an ‘impediment criterion’. This impediment criterion means that health insurers may not set the remuneration for non-contracted care at such a low level that this in fact constitutes an impediment for policyholders to turn to a health care provider who is not contracted by the health insurer. It is generally assumed that the remuneration should be at least 75-80% of the market rates. In other words: 75-80% of the rate that contracted providers receive.