Pharmaceutical News
No consensus on the 2016 NHI global budget for the hospital sector

Reported by Lin Hui-Cin from Taipei

After a long negotiation, there was no consensus on the 2016 NHI Global Budget for the hospital sector.  The fee-payers’ representatives rejected the hospitals’ proposal to increase next year’s global budget.  As no consensus has been made, the NHIA will submit both proposals to the MOHW for final decision.  It is not yet certain whether there will be an increase in the NHI premium.  The Chinese Medicine Association’s proposal for a pilot scheme of NHI-reimbursed hospitalization services in the Chinese medicine sector has been rejected outright.  

NHI Global Budget to reach NT$600 billion next year 

The NHI Global Budget will pass a milestone next year, reaching over NT$600 billion.  After two days of negotiation, the growth rates for the primary care sector, Chinese medicine sector, the dentistry sector and the dialysis services have been confirmed; and they are 4.274%, 3.927%, 3.463% and 3.8% respectively.  However, no such luck for the hospital sector. The hospitals’ representatives requested a 5.79% growth rate (NT$21.9 billion), while the fee payers’ representatives’ proposal was at 5.672% (NT$21.4 billion).  No one would like to make any concession.  

Argue over NT$500 million 

Yang Han-Chuan, the President of the Taiwan Hospital Association, expressed that hospitals depend on the NHI funding to survive.  The amendment of the Labor Standard Law is to take effect from next year.  Hospitals will be affected as personnel costs rise.

 Furthermore, the implementation of the extended DRGs system requires hospitals to invest in both hardware and software.  Hospitals’ representatives were disappointed that their proposal was rejected. 

Wu Yu-Cin, the Secretary General of the Federation of the Welfare for the Elderly, pointed out that an extra of NT$16.2 billion has been allocated to hospitals for “non-negotiable factors” on the grounds of the amendment of the Labor Standard Law; not to mention that NT$834 million has been ring-fenced for the DRGs system.  The fee payers understand the challenges faced by hospitals, but cannot agree on any increase in funds. 

Cu Tong-Kuang, the head of the Social Insurance Department of the MOHW, said that the final decision will be made before the end of 2015.  However, at present, it is still not yet clear which proposal will be adopted, and whether there will be an increase in the NHI premium.

【2015-09-20 / Liberty Times】