New amendments to healthcare laws to implement new fiscal measures and improve access to healthcare services

Recent amendments to the health care law aim to harmonize healthcare provisions with the new fiscal laws that went into effect on January 1, 2018. From the beginning of the new year, amounts paid for employment insurance by the employer will now be assigned as revenues for the Sole National Healthcare Social Insurance Fund (in Romanian, FNUASS).

The amendments also establish a legal framework to ensure sufficient funds in the FNUASS budget to provide healthcare services, medicines, and medical devices for the insured. After the draining of the reserve fund, the FNUSS incomes will be supplemented with amounts granted from the state budget. This measure aims to ensure the continuity of healthcare services, medicines, and medical devices within the healthcare system.

Another important amendment relates to the national social healthcare insurance card (“NSHIC”). According to the amended provision, the proof of the insured’s coverage is provided by NSHIC. By way of exception, as set forth within art. 223 of Law 95/2006, the proof shall be made with the insured receipt issued by National Healthcare Insurance House (“NHIH”). NSHIC is a personal document, non-transferable, and if the healthcare services, medicines, and medical devices providers withhold or use an NSHIC unlawfully to report and validate healthcare services, medicines, or medical devices, a criminal charge will be brought for identity forgery as provided under Romanian Criminal Code.

Two other important measures to facilitate and ensure access to healthcare services were adopted:
• Art. 347 of Law 95/2006 was amended and supplemented by the EGO 88/2017 to expressly provide that the annual retainer for healthcare services paid to private healthcare providers must not include the healthcare services insured by the NHIH (which are free of charge). The extra healthcare services offered must not cover the risks of unforeseeable events or provide an indeterminate value (i.e., the annual retainer may not constitute optional healthcare insurance). Moreover, a double reimbursement for the healthcare services for the same sickness within NHIH and private healthcare insurer is prohibited. A new Government Decision regulating the healthcare services paid to private healthcare providers is expected to be enacted.
• Art. 7 of Law 95/2006 was supplemented by the Law no. 110/2017 to supplement Law 95/2006 and of the art. 41 of the Law of the social assistance no. 292/2011 (“Law 110/2017”). Under the new provision, one of the public healthcare assistance’s principles ensures that specialized personal which is minorities language speaker shall be assigned to healthcare units located in territorial administrative units where minorities are over 20% of the population, or their number is at least 5000 people.

The relevant amendments enacted by Emergency Government Ordinance no. 88/ 2017 (“EGO 88/2017”) amending and supplementing the Law no. 95/2006 on healthcare reform (“Law 95/2006”).

Stratulat Albulescu - Attorneys at law