More turnover and more profit in Dutch health care institutions

11/11/2010 15:00

The turnover of health care institutions increased greatly in 2009, as it had in 2008, despite the recession in the Netherlands. Profits also rose substantially. Still, about one in seven health care institutions faced a loss in 2009.

Turnover of health care institutions up by 6.4 percent in 2009

Turnover of hospitals, institutions caring for disabled people (GHZ), mental health care (GGZ) and nursing and care homes and home help (VVT) reached 47 billion euro in 2009. This is nearly 6.4 percent more than in 2008. The turnover growth of health care institutions in 2009 was in line with those in the previous years despite the economic downturn.

Turnover growth in hospitals can be contributed to the increase in one-day treatments, especially in the rather unmanageable segment of diagnosis and treatment combinations. In institutions caring for disabled people this was due to increased capacity. In mental health care it was due to more outpatient treatment and more sheltered accommodation. Turnover growth in nursing and care homes and home help was below average because of government measures to cut entitlements under the Exceptional Medical Expenses Act (AWBZ).

Health care, annual turnover increases, 2007 - 2009

Health care, annual turnover increases, 2007 - 2009

Improving profitability

Profitability in health care institutions improved in 2009, particularly in mental health care (GGZ) and nursing and care homes and home help (VVT). Here the profit increased from 0.5 and 0.1 percent in 2008 to 1.9 percent for both in 2009.
Profitability doubled in institutions caring for disabled people (GHZ), reaching 3 percent. Profits in hospitals did not increase as fast: from 1.3 percent in 2008 to 1.5 percent in 2009. In 2009 health care institutions together made a profit of nearly 900 million euro. 

Mental health care (GGZ) recovered in 2009 from a difficult 2008 when the introduction of a new declaration system based on the diagnosis and treatment combinations meant extra costs for medical GGZ. The nursing and care homes and home help sector performed better because help in the home made less of a loss because the higher rates under the social support act (Wmo). Creating financial reserves through profits is important to cover the growing risks of the health care institutions caused by privatisation.

Profitability in health care, 2007-2009

Profitability in health care, 2007-2009

Profitability gaps between health care institutions

In 2009 about one in seven health care institutions was in the red. A third of the institutions, excluding hospitals, had profit margins over 5 percent in 2009. Most institutions had profit margins between 0 and 5 percent.

Health care institutions by profit margin, 2009

Health care institutions by profit margin, 2009

Rudi Bakker, Martin Boon, Karin Riksen and Tessa van Zonneveld