Avoiding surprises with JSIS when choosing a psychotherapist

While we hope that our readers will never need a psychotherapist, the sad reality is that a certain number of colleagues need to consult them. However, there are some points to consider when choosing a therapist as regards subsequent reimbursement by JSIS.

Firstly and importantly, a psychotherapy needs prior approval. If you start the therapy sessions before having obtained the prior approval, JSIS will not reimburse these sessions. Even if the prior approval is finally granted, JSIS will only reimburse sessions that happened after the prior approval!

Another very important aspect to keep in mind is that during the prior approval process, the JSIS verifies that the proposed therapist is a recognised practitioner in the Member State where the treatment is happening (for most of us, this is the place of employment). If the practitioner is not recognised, JSIS will refuse the prior approval. “Recognised” here refers to recognised in the Member State where your sessions take place. Indeed, in most Member States, psychotherapy is a regulated profession; therefore, therapists exercising this work have to register with the national authorities and it is this registration that is verified by JSIS. Of course, the details vary from one Member State to the other, but there is one point to remember: it is not enough if the therapist is recognised in an arbitrary Member State – the therapist must be recognised in the country where the treatment takes place. If a country does not have a formal registration process, JSIS will ask for copies of the therapist’s diplomas to verify the qualifications.

Finally, please note that JSIS does not reimburse all types of psychotherapy, even if conducted by a recognised therapist. The qualification for reimbursement for a specific type of therapy is also verified during the prior approval process.

3 thoughts on “Avoiding surprises with JSIS when choosing a psychotherapist

  1. “Firstly and importantly, a psychotherapy needs prior approval”
    —– wrong —–
    “Firstly and importantly, a psychotherapy needs prior approval, except for the first ten sessions when prescripbed by GP, in which case you just need to have a prescription”

    You guys with all your secondments and you don’t even manage to get this simple one right.
    Go back to logo contests. And heil to the thief.

    1. Hi,

      First of all, thank you for your comment. We gather you are not our biggest fan but, nevertheless, we would like to address your concerns.

      We don’t really know what you believe is wrong with the quote you copied but here is a in-depth analysis of what is going on regarding psychotherapy sessions and the JSIS.

      To start with, you have to distinguish between the prescription and the actual therapy: for example, if a general practitioner (GP) gives you a prescription for a massage, that does not mean that the GP will massage you.

      Of course, there is no prior approval necessary for the prescription as such. It would be far too early to intervene for JSIS at this stage. However, a GP can only prescribe you a maximum of 10 psychotherapy sessions in a period of two years (https://myintracomm.ec.europa.eu/staff/EN/health/reimbursement/treatments/Pages/psychotherapy.aspx). In addition, the GP will not be able to give you the treatment (unless s/he has a specialisation in psychotherapy, but then we are not talking about the average GP anymore). And depending on the therapist (see below), you do need prior approval.

      For the actual therapy, it depends who gives the therapy (see also the General implementing provisions, pages 44 and 49: https://myintracomm.ec.europa.eu/staff/documents/health/sources/dge-en.pdf). If the sessions are given by a psychologist or psychotherapist, then you need both a medical prescription and a prior approval. If the sessions are given by a psychiatrist, neurologist or neuropsychiatrist, then you need neither a medical prescription nor a prior approval. The reason for this differentiation is that the latter group has finished studies in a medical profession: therefore, they could write the prescription themselves before giving the treatment, which renders the need for a written prescription pointless.  In summary: if you are in a situation where JSIS obliges you to have written prescription, then you also need a prior approval.

      However, the main point of the article is that you should ensure that your therapist is recognized in the member state where the treatment is happening. Otherwise, JSIS will refuse to reimburse the session, no matter the specific profession of the therapist. Checking this recognition is part of the prior approval process – unless you are sure that the therapist is recognised by the member state and part of the second group mentioned above, the easiest way to avoid costly surprises is indeed asking for prior approval.

      We hope to have clarified your issue. If not please let us know and we will be glad to help you or clarify it further.

      Meanwhile have a good weekend.

      1. article:
        “Firstly and importantly, a psychotherapy needs prior approval”
        reply:
        “Of course, there is no prior approval necessary for the prescription as such”

        “To start with, you have to distinguish between the prescription and the actual therapy: for example, if a general practitioner (GP) gives you a prescription for a massage, that does not mean that the GP will massage you.”

        HAHAHAHA!!!

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