Health: Kassenärzte boss: More outpatient instead of inpatient surgery

Kassenärzte boss Andreas Gassen calls for the number of clinic operations to be significantly reduced and the possibilities for outpatient treatment to be expanded.

Health: Kassenärzte boss: More outpatient instead of inpatient surgery

Kassenärzte boss Andreas Gassen calls for the number of clinic operations to be significantly reduced and the possibilities for outpatient treatment to be expanded. He told the "Bild": "We need a turnaround in operations. There are still far too many inpatient treatments in Germany. Of the around 16 million a year, three to four million could be carried out on an outpatient basis, i.e. also by resident doctors."

Gassen mentioned groin and joint operations, for example, which could be carried out by doctors in the future in such a way that patients could come in the morning and go home in the afternoon. According to Gassen, this would save costs and also reduce infections caused by dangerous hospital germs. To do this, however, the remuneration for medical practitioners would have to be adjusted.

A week ago, the federal and state governments agreed on the key points for a hospital reform. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) wants to draw up a draft law on this over the summer. The reform is scheduled to come into force at the beginning of 2024. The plans envisage changing the remuneration system with flat rates for treatment cases in order to relieve the pressure on clinics to deal with more and more cases. Therefore, they should get 60 percent of the remuneration just for the provision of service offers. This should also secure smaller clinics in the country.

Gassen had already warned at the weekend that the planned hospital reform would fail. "If outpatient treatment is not strengthened by involving practices and the selection of the right clinics is not coordinated intelligently and strategically, then this reform will fail," said the chairman of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung". In Germany there are still "absurdly many" inpatient interventions, Gassen stated. "Far too many treatments are still being provided on an inpatient basis and insured persons' money is being squandered."

According to its own statements, the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) represents the interests of around 185,000 freelance doctors and psychotherapists who work in outpatient practices.

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