Press release, 13 February 2017
A total of 8,834 patient injury claims were filed with the Patient Insurance Centre, an increase of 5% on the previous year. Compensation was paid in a little less than one third of the cases. Hip and knee joint replacement surgeries are still on top of injury statistics.
The number of injury claims has increased during the past few years. In 2016, the increase was somewhat more noticeable than in the previous years. A total of 7,537 reported cases were resolved. Compensations were paid in 2,166 cases.
Compensations were most frequently paid for injuries that occurred in connection with musculoskeletal surgical procedures (469) and other surgical or anaesthesia procedures (466). The injuries most frequently compensated for were those that occurred in hip and knee joint replacement surgeries, which have topped the injury statistics for several years. A total of 300 injuries that occurred in connection with dental care were compensated for. These injuries usually occurred when root canal treatment was administered.
The processing time of injury claims has slightly increased. Last year, the average processing time was 7.5 months and the median processing time 6.8 months.
"Our aim is to process the claims as quickly as possible. However, this may not occur at the expense of quality; lawful and just treatment must be secured for each claimant. We are gradually adopting electronic services. We hope that they will not only make filing one's case easier for everyone but, in due course, also shorten the processing times," says Unit Director Minna Plit-Turunen.
The Patient Insurance Centre handles all patient injury claims filed in Finland on a centralised basis. The statutory patient insurance system safeguards the rights of the patient and health care professionals in the event of a patient injury. Compensation will not be paid for all injuries that occur during treatment; compensation can only be paid if the preconditions prescribed by law are met.
The majority of negative claims decisions are due to the fact that the injury could not be avoided despite appropriate treatment. An infection that started in connection with the treatment, for example, will not be compensated for if the infection is regarded as 'tolerable' on grounds prescribed by law. Furthermore, the injury is not always eligible for compensation, even if errors or shortcomings can be found in the treatment.
In 2016, the compensations paid totalled EUR 40.9 million, including the management expenses of compensation operations. The majority of the compensations paid consisted of compensations for loss of income (39.1%). Additionally, compensation was paid for permanent or temporary incapacity and for cosmetic impairment (29.1%), medical treatment and rehabilitation, funeral expenses, increased costs of living and other expenses.
Minna Plit-Turunen, Unit Manager, tel. +358 40 450 4632Communications, tel. +358 40 450 4700
For hospital districts, we only report aggregated figures. For more detailed information, please contact the hospital districts concerned.
The Finnish Patient Insurance Centre (PVK) handles all personal injuries that occur in connection with healthcare activities in accordance with the Patient Injuries Act. PVK promotes patient safety by carrying out research, making calculations and compiling statistics. Its members include all insurance companies granting patient insurance policies in Finland. The statutory system has safeguarded the rights of patients and nursing staff since 1987.
Due to increase in the number of injury notifications, there are delays in the claims handling process.
Typically it takes 7.5 months to receive a claims decision. Only in rare cases the handling does take more than one year. However, at the moment the average processing time is 8 months.
The time-consuming parts of the claims handling process are retrieval and careful study of all required information, reports and statements needed to prepare the claims decision.
Please note that customers are requested not to call customer service numbers unless they have an urgent issue that cannot wait. Patient Insurance Centre regrets the delays.
The Insurance Centre organisations will move from Bulevardi to new office premises in Ruoholahti in June. The address of the Motor Insurers' Centre, Patient Insurance Centre, Environmental Insurance Centre and Pharmaceutical Insurance Pool will be Itämerenkatu 11-13, 00180 Helsinki, Finland. The phone numbers and e-mail addresses will remain unchanged.
In addition to the Insurance Centre, all other organisations in the current Finance and Insurance Building (the Finnish Workers' Compensation Centre, the Federation of Finnish Financial Services and Finva) will also move to the same address.
Additional information:Service Manager Raino Räsänen, tel. +358 40 450 4644raino.rasanen(@)vakuutuskeskus.fi
Sad farewell to Bulevardi that accommodated the Insurance Centre for half a century
For decades, the esteemed Bulevardi 28 is a familiar address for operators in the financial and insurance sector. The then Finnish Motor Insurers' Bureau moved to the address at the turn of the 50s and 60s. The moving distance from Bulevardi 10 was short.
The renewal of the lease expiring during 2016 and the continuation of operations in the current office premises would have called for extensive renovation, for the duration of which it would have been necessary to move to interim premises.
“The premises in Bulevardi have served us well for decades, and we have strong emotional ties to our long-time office building. However, we will now be able to move into an entirely new kind of modern facilities, in the planning of which our personnel played an important part. I am certain that the single-storey, bright and alterable multi-purpose premises in Ruoholahti will further the development of working practices, occupational well-being and collaboration between different functions,” says Ulla Niku-Koskinen, Managing Director of the Insurance Centre.
“On the other hand, the move of all Bulevardi-based Insurance Centre organisations to the new premises will enable the continuation of good mutual cooperation between the organisations and the agile flow of information, along with providing a range of other synergy benefits for the entire industry sector,” Niku-Koskinen concludes.
Minna Plit-Turunen, LL.M., has been appointed Unit Director of the Patient Insurance Centre as of 1 March 2016. She is responsible for the direction and development of the Patient Insurance Unit's operations as a whole and, for her part, of patient safety work, research and communications.
Minna Plit-Turunen transfers to the position of Unit Director from her previous position as the Patient Insurance Centre's Development Manager, where she was responsible for the development of the unit's compensation operations and processes. Plit-Turunen has worked at the Patient Insurance Centre since 2006, first as lawyer and then, since 2014, as development manager. Her prior employment history includes working at the appeal board of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, among others.
Asko Nio appointed Director of Legislative Affairs of the Insurance Centre
Asko Nio, LL.M., will transfer from the position of Director of the Patient Insurance Centre to that of Director of Legislative Affairs for the entire Insurance Centre as of 1 March 2016. His principal areas of responsibility will include different types legislative projects at the Insurance Centre, as well as other duties pertaining to the operating environment, advocacy and stakeholder engagement. Nio is responsible for the development of patient insurance systems, issues related to insurance cover under patient insurance and compensation of medicine-related Injuries.
Minna Plit-Turunen, Unit Director, tel. +358 40 450 email@example.com
Asko Nio, Director of Legislative Affairs, tel. +358 40 450 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Finnish Patient Insurance Centre (PVK) handles all personal injuries that occur in conjunction with health care in accordance with the Patient Injuries Act. PVK promotes patient safety by carrying out research, making calculations and compiling statistics. Its members include all insurance companies granting patient insurance policies in Finland. Patients and health-care professionals have been protected by this statutory system since 1987.
The Insurance Centre is a centre of expertise and consortium of four safeguarding insurance types. It consists of Motor Insurers' Centre, Patient Insurance Centre, Environmental Insurance Centre and Pharmaceutical Insurance Pool. The Centre manages statutory insurance and compensation activities and plans, coordinates and implements the cooperation and international tasks of its member companies.
Press release, 4 February 2016
A total of 8,242 patient injury claims were filed with the Patient Insurance Centre during 2015. The amount of claims received was slightly larger than of the year before (8,077). The Patient Insurance Centre issued a compensation decision on 7,792 cases. The processing time remained at the previous year’s level, the average being slightly over 6 months.
The figures are derived from the last year’s statistics recently released by the Patient Insurance Centre.
Of all patient injury claims filed, 2,300 were deemed eligible for compensation. The figure was at nearly the same level as the year before when 2,400 injuries were decided as being eligible for compensation. As before, the largest portion (92%) of compensable injuries were treatment injuries. Infection injuries accounted for 5% and accidental injuries 2% of the compensated claims.
The most common patient injuries eligible for compensation occurred in hip and knee joint replacement surgeries, in the decompression of the spinal cord and nerve roots and in ankle and foot surgeries.
“Joint replacements are common procedures. Special attention must be paid in health care to patient injuries and other complications that occur in connection with them, as they are on top of injury statistics year after year. Another common group of injuries are cases related to the diseases of the back where delays in diagnostics and access to treatment stand out in addition to postoperative complications. This may be due to too loosely-worded and general instructions pertaining to the lines of treatment,” says Eero Hirvensalo, Medical Director of the Patient Insurance Centre.
Constant patient safety work is to the benefit of all
In 2015, a total of EUR 41.2 million was paid in compensations for patient injuries. Compensation expenditure has increased year-on-year. Compensation for temporary incapacity, cosmetic impairment and permanent incapacity accounted for one third (31%) of the total amount paid. Another third consisted of compensation paid for the loss of income (36%) and the last third of medical treatment and other costs (33%).
“Patient injuries give rise to not only human suffering but also to considerable costs and compensation expenditure every year. For this reason, the significance of patient safety work cannot be over-emphasised,” says Asko Nio, Director of the Patient Insurance Centre.
Of the injuries compensated for, 79% occurred in public sector institutions and 21% in the private sector. This is partly explained by the differences in the amount of operations between sectors.
Statistics 2015 (pdf)
For hospital districts, we only report aggregated figures. For more detailed information, please contact the hospital districts concerned.
Press release, 23 October 2014
This week, hospital districts completed their estimates of increases in remuneration liabilities for patient insurance. The number and severity of patient injuries affect remuneration liabilities, meaning that the amounts are not evenly distributed between hospital districts. According to the information currently available, the overall level of remuneration liabilities has increased to EUR 457 million.
Last autumn, the Finnish Patient Insurance Centre detected significant risks of the remuneration liability level being insufficient. According to the calculations that have now been completed, the actual total level of remuneration liabilities is EUR 457 million, which represents an increase of EUR 198 million from the previous year. Of the total, EUR 185 million is attributed to hospital districts, and the rest is attributed to private providers of health-care services.
“Natural growth amounts to EUR 15 million, and the rest of the increase consists of expenses of a more unexpected nature. For example, as a result of the Disability Services Act, municipalities recover from the patient insurance system considerable expenses that they incur from assisted living and personal assistance services provided to severely injured patients,” says Simo Sarvamaa, Director of Actuarial Affairs at the Finnish Patient Insurance Centre.
At this point, the total is an estimate, as adjustments to provisions will continue to be made until the end of December. Any new notices of injury and injuries deemed eligible for compensation can still change the situation.
“Remuneration liabilities” refers to the total amount that must be reserved for future payment of patient injuries that have already occurred. For this reason, the level of remuneration liabilities is directly connected to the number and severity of patient injuries. According to the law, the remuneration liabilities must be based on the most realistic estimate of expenses to be paid in the future.
The increase in remuneration liabilities related to the financial statements for 2014 will materialise at the turn of the year when the final amount of remuneration liabilities will be confirmed and the Board of the Finnish Patient Insurance Centre approves the total.
Attachment: Questions and answers concerning remuneration liabilities for patient insurance