Medical chief fears large practice deaths

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Medical chief fears practice dying - but why? Two souls live, alas, in my breast, one wants to separate from the other. The famous quote from Goethe apparently also applies to the chairman of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), Andreas Köhler. So far, he has always called for the model of reimbursement of costs by the doctor, which is now being considered by the Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) and the black and yellow federal government has launched. At the same time, however, Köhler warns that a quarter of the medical practices would have to close as a result of the changes.

KBV boss has always emphasized the advantages of reimbursement So far, Köhler had always emphasized the advantages of reimbursement, in which the legally insured pay their treatment costs themselves and then get reimbursed by their insurance. The model leads to better cost control and increased competition, which in turn leads to further increases in efficiency, explained Köhler. So far, the cost control has always been with the doctor, "but he thinks it is necessary for the insured person to take personal responsibility," said the KBV boss. However, it only occurs to him after the decision on the new cost reimbursement model that this could result in a considerable death in practice. With the statement that 25 percent of the doctor's practices would have to close, Köhler hit a sore point of the Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP). Because Rösler also knows how important comprehensive care is for patients and therefore reacted quickly and at the same time without understanding to the criticism of the KBV boss.

Doctors overloaded, no practice closes due to lack of patients At the moment the doctors are heavily overloaded and even if the patients were to decline significantly, no practices would have to close due to insufficient capacity, according to the Federal Ministry of Health. If at all, the lack of young people is the main reason for the possible closure of medical practices. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, every German see a doctor an average of 18 times a year, which is up to three times more than in comparable countries. Doctors do not have to fear unemployment due to a lack of patients, as the KBV also admitted in a current press release.

Is the KBV boss just acting out of self-interest? It is not entirely clear why Köhler willfully provoke with such statements or not only stir up worries and fears among the 150,000 members of the KBV. However, there are initial speculations that assume that Köhler personally rejects the introduction of reimbursement, which most members of the KBV have advocated. Actually easy to understand, because the patients pay their doctor directly, the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians loses its importance and its boss Koehler may lose his job. So far, the KBV has been responsible for negotiating with the insurance companies about remuneration for doctors. Ultimately, with his warning of the closure of 25 percent of medical practices, Köhler could have tried to unofficially torpedo the model of reimbursement - contrary to his public support - in order to secure his own job in the long term. All in all, however, Köhler's extremely ambivalent remarks cast a rather modest light on the KBV and the public must ask itself what value it will attach to suggestions from this direction in the future. (fp, October 12, 2010)

Also read:
Prepayment plans: Many medical practices would have to close
Health insurance against advance payment at the doctor
Nationwide uniform doctor's fees?
CSU criticism of reimbursement: Rösler defends himself
Doctors are in favor of reimbursement
Rösler plans to pay in advance when visiting the doctor

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