Health Insurance Fund reports €27 million deficit in first quarter

The Estonian Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa) reported a deficit of €27 million for the first quarter of 2017, which is €10 million less than a year ago.

The fund paid out €209 million for healthcare services in the first quarter, €8 million less than in the same period of 2016. Compensation amounted to some €30 million for drugs, and €42 million for pensions as well as sick and disability pay. The average cost per insured person grew by 10 percent.

Haigekassa’s payments to general practitioners amounted to €27 million during the period. €36,000 were spent on e-consultations, roughly four times as much as in the first quarter of the previous year.

The general practitioners’ help line reported some 71,000 calls.

More than €166 million was paid out to specialists for 846,000 cases and 411,000 patients reported.

Extremely expensive treatments (anything beyond a case cost of €65,000) cost €2.1 million in the first quarter. The fund paid hospitals an average €1,800 per stationary patient case, the average time spent by patients in hospital reached six days. More than 40,000 surgeries were reportedly carried out during the period.

The fund also spent €2.2 million on preventive measures, including services provided at schools, breast and colon cancer prevention, sports health, and increasing reproductive health.

Nursing and care services cost €7.9 million in the first quarter.

Haigekassa also paid out €6.2 million for dental treatment, which in Estonia is free for children and teenagers. There were 59,000 patients under the age of 19 that received dental care, along with 9,500 children.

Total compensation paid out for drugs amounted to €30 million, with €14.40 spent on average per prescription.

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