The Swiss cabinet has approved an amended billing system for medical treatments aimed at creating more transparency and limiting a further increase in healthcare costs.
The decision is expected to lead to annual savings of CHF470 million ($483 million) and a drop of about 1.5 percentage points in insurance fees for patients, according to Interior Minister Alain Berset.
However, it falls short of initial proposals for savings up to CHF700 million a year, following opposition from certain specialist doctors’ groups during a consultation procedure over the past few months.
“The aim was to find a practical solution,” said Berset at a news conference on Wednesday. He said an extraordinarily large number of interest groups and associations had taken part in the consultation.
Berset added that it was crucial to implement a functioning tariff system by the beginning of next year as doctors, hospitals and health insurers failed to agree on a system despite years of negotiations.
The amended system foresees more lenient billing restrictions, notably for geriatric specialists, children’s doctors, as well as psychiatrists and treatments in medical emergencies.
Berset said the tariff system would not lead to a reduction of services for patients.
Switzerland’s health system is considered high quality but among the costliest in the world. The TARMED tariff systemexternal link has an annual volume of CH10 billion.