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Treatment costs

If you have opted for a healthcare service in Austria, you may be treated in two care areas: either in the "private practice area" or in the "hospital area". This distinction is relevant because a different basis is used for calculating the treatment fees in each area. The payment terms of the respective healthcare service providers in each area may also differ.   

All healthcare service providers in either area, however, have a duty to treat Austrian and foreign patients equally. This applies to both the scope and quality of the medical treatment as well as to the amount of the treatment costs. This means that foreign patients and patients to whom the EU Directive applies may not be charged higher fees than Austrian patients.

The private practice area

Doctors’ practices and outpatient clinics are examples of institutions in the private practice area. However, services in this area are also rendered by members of other healthcare professions such as physical therapists and occupational therapists.

The principle of freedom to set prices applies to the use of services in the private practice area. This means that the healthcare service provider is free to determine the amount of the treatment costs. Information on the payment modalities and on the costs to be expected is provided by the respective healthcare service provider.

The hospital area

If the patient is admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay, this is referred to as an inpatient treatment. Under the Directive, foreign patients are treated only in exchange for payment (cash, credit cards, etc.) in hospitals with beds that are financed by the respective regional health fund ("subsidized hospitals"). The treatment costs are calculated according to the Austrian "DRG system" (procedure-oriented financing).

In addition there are hospitals with beds that are financed from another fund, the Private Hospitals Financing Fund (PRIKRAF). The treatment costs in these hospitals are composed of a percent calculated according to the DRG system and a percent established by the respective hospital. As in the private practice area, the principle of freedom to establish fees applies to these as well as to all other hospitals with beds not financed by a regional health fund (private hospitals). The treatment costs in the outpatient area are established by the respective province.

In Austria, bills for treatment costs are issued by the hospitals or by the respective legal representative of the hospitals. The latter are also a source of information on the costs to be expected.

Cost reimbursement

Regarding reimbursement of expenses, foreign patients contact the respective competent foreign social security provider directly. More detailed information can be obtained from the respective national contact point of the state of affiliation.

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