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OEP to appeal against court decision favoring HospInvest

Hungary’s health insurance fund OEP will appeal against a Wednesday decision of the Budapest Court obligating the OEP to pay HUF 1.5 billion to HospInvest Zrt and its subsidiary Hatvani Kórház Kft.

The case has origins reaching back years. Hospital operator HospInvest started to take up the complete operation of hospitals in Hungary in 2004. Also through functional privatization process, which affects only the operational rights without touching the ownership, HospInvest gained the operational rights of the hospital in Hatvan in 2006. Three years later HospInvest filed for bankruptcy protection because of a past due debt at CIB Bank.

Prior to that, HospInvest and Hatvani Kórház made a health service contract with the OEP and received advance payment from the health fund, which the two companies had to redeem in easy terms. One of the subjects of the legal argument between the OEP and the two companies leading to the current court decision is that, after the liquidation processes had been finally initiated against HospInvest and Hatvani Kórház, the health fund withheld the due financing fees of the companies to cover the formerly given advance payment.

HospInvest and Hatvani Kórház said that the OEP could enforce its claims as a loaner only through the liquidation process. The OEP said, however, that since it was advance money and not a loan, the action of withholding the financing fees cannot be considered as a claim. In this point, the court accepted the OEP’s standpoint and rejected HospInvest’s and Hatvani Kórház’s.

But in another disputed case, which is about HospInvest and Hatvani Kórház not getting the financing fees for the last two and three months of their operation, respectively, the court gave place to the claim of the companies against the OEP. According to the decision, the health fund has to pay some HUF 934 million to HospInvest and HUF 468 million to Hatvani Kórház.

The court decision has not come into force yet.