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Fee for service (FFS)

With standard basic health insurance, a doctor charges his patients for each individual service. This is why it is called a 'fee for service' system (in short: FFS).

The consequence of payment according to the FFS principle is that the more services a doctor performs for a patient, the more he earns. Even if he provides treatment the patient does not actually need, he will still be compensated for it. In retrospect, it is practically impossible to prove that a medical service would, in fact, have been unnecessary.

In Switzerland, there are, as yet, no binding guidelines relating to medical treatment that help determine which measures should be deemed necessary and expedient for a certain medical condition and which ones can no longer be considered appropriate.

This means that doctors can influence their income to a certain extent. It is one of the reasons why the number of health care services provided in Switzerland has increased. This increase leads to higher costs. In order for insurance companies to be able to pay for these costs, they have to increase their premiums year after year.

Other payment systems: time-based fees, flat fees

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