Fears over-diagnosis of drug patients

cocaine drug patientsCocaine. Photo: pixabay.com

Fears over-diagnosis of drug patients in central Norway

Drug patients in central Norway may have been incorrectly diagnosed with additional issues. Now St. Olav’s hospital has alerted Helfo, reports Adresseavisen.


The fact that drug patients are diagnosed as mentally ill means that the treatment centres may require to be paid the highest daily rate. Ordinary day care for drug issues has a price tag of NOK 2,500, while patients who are also treated for mental disorders has a day rate of NOK 3,650.

Kristin Smedsrud, Clinic Manager fo the Drug Addiction section at St Olavs Hospital, is concerned that patients affiliated with her region are being over-diagnosed, both for the sake of the patient, but also because it may mean that means are not being used to the patients’ best .

Patients are free to choose a local clinic, or a Helfo-(Norwegian Public Health) approved clinic elsewhere in the country. None of the public or private drugs clinics in Central Norway are among the institutions that St. Olav now wishes a closer scrutiny of.

It is Health Central Norway that has covered the expenses for this treatment in 2016 and 2017.

Follows up

Head of Department in Helfo patient mediation, Kristin Bøgset, writes in an e-mail to Adresseavisen that there are two healthcare companies that have addressed this issue and that it concerns two institutions or suppliers of health care. Helfo has presented the problem in a separate note to the Norwegian Directorate of Health.I Helfo also follows up on the suppliers.

At the same time, Bøgset writes that they have no reason to suspect units over-diagnosed to obtain a higher daily rate for treatment.

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