Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Diversity and integration

Cross-border healthcare - 25.10.2010

CEMR calls for strengthening of prior authorisation and reimbursement
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) calls upon members of the European Parliament (MEP) to strengthen the issues of prior authorisation and reimbursement of costs present in the.draft directive on patients' rights in cross border healthcare.

This call was made in a letter addressed to MEPs and sent by CEMR on 20 October 2010 prior to the vote on the directive, to be held during a session of the European Parliament Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) on 27 October.

Indeed, CEMR would notably welcome the inclusion of a general system of prior authorisation and the outlining of grounds on which prior authorisation can be refused. These measures would help better protect local and regional authorities offering healthcare services, providing them with clear conditions and indications as to when they can refuse care.

In its letter, CEMR also states that it would welcome clarifications concerning the reimbursement and the level of assumption of costs. 'The insertion of a limitation of costs is particularly important, as previously there was significant room for dispute between member states where the costs of treatment varied."

The inclusion of a safety mechanism limiting the application of rules on reimbursement would allow for member states, local and regional authorities and hospitals to better plan and finance their healthcare systems, thus giving them more control over the directive's implementation process.

CEMR hopes that MEPs will amend as little as possible the compromise text agreed upon by the Council of the EU on 8 June 2010, as it would prevent this vital text from moving forward.
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