Norway bought private eye surgery at six times the price
Thousands of Norwegians suffering from the severe eye disease, wet AMD, may become blind if they are not treated. What the treatment costs has long been a secret, but Bergens Tidende (BT) has been given access to documents that reveal the actual costs.
While it costs NOK 3,700 at Ullevål University Hospital to give patients an injection, Aleris charges six times more for the same treatment. Since 2010, the private hospital has received NOK 200 million from the public to inject 8,908 syringes to treat the eye disease at the behest of Health South-East.
Aleris believes the claims that treatment can be done for a sixth of the price is incorrect and points to that the hospital has to calculate in a number of fixed and variable costs regarding patient care and running of the hospital. This includes investments in medical equipment and premises for example.
Multiple use of vials
Bergens Tidende further writes that Aleris has dramatically increased profits by splitting the very expensive medicine used on multiple injections, which has been not been known to the health service contractor. At the same time, Aleris has received the same reimbursement for every instance.
– Health South-East RHF has not received information from Aleris during the agreement period that several injections were drawn from one vial of medicine, says Director of Medicine and Health Sciences, Jan Frich.
He says that they will consider how the matter will be followed up.
CEO of Aleris Health, Mia Grundstrøm, states that they have never tried to hide this practice.
– We are wondering why this surprises Health South-East, as we have followed the framework agreement throughout, writes Grundstrøm.