The Law and Policy of Healthcare Financing
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The Law and Policy of Healthcare Financing

An International Comparison of Models and Outcomes

Edited by Wolf Sauter, Jos Boertjens, Johan van Manen and Misja Mikkers

Examining the ways and extent to which systemic factors affect health outcomes with regard to quality, affordability and access to curative healthcare, this explorative book compares tax-funded Beveridge systems and insurance-based Bismarck systems. Containing contributions from national experts, The Law and Policy of Healthcare Financing charts and compares the merits of healthcare systems throughout 11 countries, from the UK to Colombia.
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Chapter 8: Country report: Belgium

Filip Dewallens and Julie Vermeulen

Abstract

The Belgian healthcare system has a system of compulsory insurance with almost universal coverage of the population (99 per cent), administered by healthcare sickness funds (mutualité’s). Citizens can choose a mutualité freely, and can switch between mutualités at any time. Mutualités do not negotiate directly with individual hospitals, negotiations take place at the national level. Hospitals need to meet a limited set of national criteria in order to obtain recognition and must fit within standards for national programming. Most physicians in Belgium work within the Belgian state health insurance scheme, while some combine this with private work or work entirely in the private sector. Future developments involve proposals for strengthening value based financing of healthcare and clustering of hospitals, the latter creating a network of neighbouring hospitals, a development aimed at sharing of the financial risks between hospital and insurance.

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