Call for medical technology industry to be more involved in outpatient
19 April 2006
Berlin, Germany. For health insurance funds in Germany the medical
devices industry is "an important partner that has hitherto not been heeded
enough". Indeed, more attention must now be paid to medical devices in view
of the new forms of healthcare. This was the view of Horst Bölle, Director
of the claims department of the German health insurance fund for salaried
employees (DAK), addressing some 100 participants at BVMed's conference
"Growth market outpatient care with medical technology" in Berlin on 28
March 2006. He added that in the future, medical care with medical devices
in the outpatient sector would increasingly focus on "flat-rate
reimbursement models coupled with quality assurance".
For the introduction and financing of new medical technology procedures,
Dr. Bernhard Rochell from the National Association of Statutory Health
Insurance Physicians (KBV) demanded equal opportunities for the out- and
inpatient sector. "Regarding hospitals as a stronghold for innovation has
become outdated as a result of medical progress." He said there must be
equally viable opportunities for the outpatient sector and an equal access
to medical technology innovation.
BVMed Director General Joachim M. Schmitt expressed the opinion that
"permission with the reservation of prohibition” was the right path to
ensure flexible solutions for the hospital sector. For certain areas of
medical technology he advocated increased flexibility in the financing of
innovations, whereby patients would pay the difference between the actual
price and the amount reimbursed by the Statutory Health Insurance funds.
This demand for a so-called "Delta financing model" was supported by
Lothar Krimmel, Director of Bioscientia, and Dr. Jörg-Andreas Rüggeberg,
President of the Federal Association for Outpatient Surgery. The ban on
additional payments of patients for SHI services must be broken in order to
make care more flexible, said Mr. Krimmel. Mr. Rüggeberg demanded a closer
doctor/patient relationship, so that patients "could avoid healthcare
rationing and better control their own healthcare treatment".