Monday, July 15, 2024

Dutch Healthcare Authority Announces Academic Care Contribution for Specialized and Innovative Care in 2024

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The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) has unveiled its annual policy rule for academic care contribution (Beschikbaarheidbijdrage Academische Zorgand, BBAZ) for the year 2024. This policy rule defines the funding allocated to academic care providers who offer highly specialized and innovative care that often involves special diagnostics and treatments.

Academic care goes beyond standard healthcare and is typically sought when referrals are no longer possible. It requires a robust infrastructure where multiple specialists collaborate at the highest level of expertise, often linked to fundamental patient-centered research.

The BBAZ serves several purposes, including:

  1. Reimbursement for Top-Quality Patient Care: It covers the cost of delivering high-quality patient care through academic institutions.
  2. Maintenance of Infrastructure: The contribution ensures that the infrastructure necessary for fundamental scientific research is sustained.
  3. Support for Innovation: It supports the development, testing, and dissemination of new treatments and diagnostics, as well as the innovation required for treating highly specialized patients.

The BBAZ for 2024 is divided into two compartments:

Compartment One: This compartment, totaling €940,886,231, is designated for healthcare providers whose top referral care isn’t fully covered by existing services and tariffs.

Compartment Two: This smaller compartment, amounting to €13,516,253, is allocated to healthcare providers where top referral care is already fully funded through available services and tariffs.

Within Compartment One, two main components are identified:

Variable Component: Accounting for €611,576,050 (65% of the total BBAZ), this part funds the care of top referral patients.

Fixed or Research and Innovation Part: Amounting to €329,310,181 (35% of the total BBAZ), this part supports infrastructure, knowledge development, research, and innovation crucial for treating top referral patients.

The fixed part of the BBAZ is justified based on nine cost categories, including investments in innovative equipment, unreimbursed medical care, and conditional provision of care related to clinical research.

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The variable part is designed to cover the care of top referral patients based on a labeling system. This system includes seven distinct patient-related labels, such as high treatment intensity and multidisciplinary care. Patients falling under these labels are considered the top priority.

Importantly, unique Diagnosis-Related Groups (DRGs) primarily supplied by academic care providers are excluded from BBAZ coverage. These DRGs are assumed to be cost-effective, as their tariffs are based on the cost data of BBAZ recipients.

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