Tarif 590 for complementary medicine

What is Tarif 590

Tarif 590 went into effect on January 1, 2018. It concerns all complementary medicine practitioners practicing in Switzerland: osteopaths, naturopaths, therapists, etc.

Sometimes abbreviated to T590, Tariff 590 is a list of complementary medicine services recognized by all Swiss insurance companies. It includes more than 100 tariff items. Its objective is to standardize the designation of therapies, procedures and techniques practiced by therapists.

Tarif 590 was introduced by the group of complementary medicine insurers that includes: Concordia, CSS, Groupe Mutuel, Helsana, ÖKK, Sanitas, Swica, Sympany and Visana.

How Tarif 590 works

In order to be able to bill with Tarif 590, you must have a RCC number. This is provided by one of the following Registries:

  • Association des Praticiens en Thérapies Naturelles (APTN)
  • Association suisse en Naturopathie (NVS)
  • Fondation suisse pour les médecines complémentaires (ASCA)
  • Registre de Médecine Empirique (RME)

The 590 invoice is organized according to the following structure:

  • A header containing all the information about the therapist, the treatment and the patient.
  • The body of the invoice contains a list of services performed and billed by 5-minute periods.
  • A footer with accounting information and a QR security code that is used by the insurers to authenticate and validate the invoice.

Billing solutions for Tarif 590

The proof of reimbursement 590 statement must be prepared according to a very strict standard. This standard is adapted every year, which requires regular monitoring. In addition, the receipt contains a mandatory QR security code that encodes certain information on the invoice.

Invoices that do not comply with Tarif 590 will simply not be accepted or reimbursed by insurance.

For all these reasons, the use of specialized billing software approved for Tarif 590 is essential.

The PDF billing form

Until 2021, there was an alternative to using software: the PDF billing form. This solution was made available by the insurance companies to simplify the transition to Tarif 590. It consisted of manually entering all the invoice information into an official form, which quickly became tedious and time-consuming.

The PDF billing form has become obsolete at the end of 2021 and should no longer be used for 590 billing! The only alternative is now to use a specialized billing software.

The advantages of a T590 approved software

As we have seen before, the use of a specialized billing software for Tarif 590 is essential. Although restrictive, this obligation brings many benefits: the use of a software allows to simplify the administrative management of the office and also brings a significant saving of time in the execution of the daily tasks!

Here are some of the advantages of using a computerized management solution:

  • Management of your own patient list (contact information, personal notes, etc.).
  • Centralized consultation follow-up and improved anamnesis writing.
  • Invoices are automatically generated in a few clicks and can even be sent to the patient by email directly from the software.
  • Access the list of your invoices and manage the receipt of payments and reminders. All your invoice history is quickly available.
  • Get statistics on the activity of your practice, the patients who come to consult, your turnover, etc.
  • You can easily take advantage of additional options (optional) that are integrated into your software: online appointment scheduling, SMS appointment reminders, etc.

In short, the centralization of the practice's data offers many opportunities and allows you to optimize the management of your practice and reduce the time spent on administrative tasks. The modularity of the software also allows you to offer additional services according to your needs.

The different solutions available

There are two different types of software: cloud solutions (online) and software running locally (like OptaMed).

To access a cloud solution, you just need to connect to its website. Use is thus limited to your web browser and an internet connection is required at all times. Your data is stored on servers, which can be problematic on several points: how is the confidentiality of your patients' medical data managed, who has access to this data, what are the risks in case of a cyber attack, etc.

Installing software and configuring it requires a little more effort, but once it's up and running, you'll enjoy many undeniable benefits! All data is stored securely on your computer and no one else has access to it. This gives you complete control over your data, which means that your patients' medical information remains confidential. In addition, you do not need an internet connection to use your software and these kinds of solutions are usually better integrated with your operating system (macOS or Windows).