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NMa consults with health care industry on health care Guidelines

The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) invites all interested parties, such as care providers, health insurers, the Dutch Federation of Patients and Consumer Organizations (NPCF), and law firms, to comment, speaking from their own experiences, on the current Guidelines for the health care industry (Guidelines).

The NMa is re-evaluating the Guidelines, which have been in use since December 2007, to have them better address current problems and questions in the industry. The re-evaluation will leave the competition-law aspect of the Guidelines untouched, which is the assessment framework of the NMa. However, the NMa intends to clarify and flesh out the examples used in the Guidelines, or add examples where needed, so as to have the Guidelines dovetail with day-to-day practice (even) better.

The Guidelines are based on the Dutch Competition Act as well as on European legislation. They act as a manual on how to apply the Competition Act to various agreements and behaviors in the health care industry. The Guidelines explores the possibilities of and sets limits to the cooperation between organizations in the health care industry, as this kind of cooperation is an important topic, and which has already existed for a long time now. Yet many situations are one of a kind, and will thus always require to be assessed individually. The NMa strives to have the Guidelines be able to address the most frequent day-to-day situations.

Comments need to be in by September 1st, 2009. The Guidelines (in Dutch) are available for download on the NMa's website by clicking here.