Lebanon Businessnews News

Hospitals reject raise
"NSSF's tariff increase proposal does not match inflation rates”
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The Syndicate of Hospital Owners announced its rejection of the tariff increase suggested by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). Private hospital owners said that the proposed increase does not match the inflation rates.

The NSSF had proposed an 18 percent increase on hospitalization tariffs (as adopted by Cabinet in 2009). The NSSF’s Director, Mohamad Karaki, said that the hospitals’ demands are fair. According to Karaki, an 18 percent increase on tariffs would cost the NSSF an additional LL135 billion ($90 million).

Hospital owners presented two options for the tariff increase. The first is to add 32 percent to all tariffs. The second option is to raise tariffs by 40 percent, with the exception of x-rays and laboratory tests.

Hospitalization tariffs have not been changed since 1994. In 2009, a Cabinet decision called for unifying hospitalization tariffs for all public medical coverage funds. All funds implemented the decision except the NSSF which could not pay the increase (around $12 million) due to its fiscal deficit. Citizens covered by the NSSF are estimated to number around 1.26 million.

Private hospitals are protesting for higher hospitalization tariffs by refusing to admit patients treated through the (NSSF). The strike, which started on March 26, will last for one week. Hospitals have also threatened to refrain from renewing their contracts with the NSSF if a mechanism allowing the regular amendment of hospitalization tariffs is not adopted.

Reported by Hanadi Chami
Date Posted: Mar 27, 2012
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