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General practitioner chain Co-Med files for bankruptcy


General practitioner chain Co-Med files for bankruptcy

The commercial general practitioner chain Co-Med will file for bankruptcy next week, lawyer Georges van Zeijl confirmed this to L1. The company has no choice but to take this step, as the health insurance companies refuse to participate in an alternative plan to dissolve the company, RTL Nieuws reports.

The controversial GP chain has had problems with its practices for years. Co-Med took over practices throughout the Netherlands from general practitioners who could not find a successor. After the takeover, however, these practices did not have a permanent general practitioner but an observer. However, this strategy did not work, as after a short time, there was often no doctor present in the practices, and patients did not receive adequate care, according to RTL Nieuws.

Co-Med had proposed to the health insurers that its nationwide practices with some 50,000 patients be transferred to existing GPs. However, the health insurers would have to continue to make regular payments to the GP chain during this transfer process. However, the health insurers have rejected this approach, L1 reports.

According to van Zeijl, Co-Med was “pushed to the abyss” by health insurers in a week. However, this move by the health insurers came as a surprise to Co-Med. The company has therefore decided to hold the health insurers financially liable. The lawyer speaks of “an accumulation of clumsiness that does not contribute to good patient care”. The lawyer will start collecting all the necessary documents on Monday. Before he can file a petition with the court in Maastricht, the shareholders of Co-Med must still decide on the bankruptcy application.

Co-Med was already reprimanded in the summer of 2023 by the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate (IGJ) because the thirteen affiliated GP practices of the chain were insufficiently accessible and the care was inadequate. In April of this year, IGJ found no improvement at several practices, resulting in “major risks to patient safety”.

In the beginning of June, the commercial general practitioner chain escaped bankruptcy at the last minute by deciding to pay an outstanding debt during a court hearing in Maastricht. A creditor had filed for bankruptcy because an account of “several tens of thousands of euros” was still open, and Co-Med opted to pay it in the end.

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