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Hospital report: centralization and specialization remain on the agenda

The corona pandemic has made the need for improvement in the German hospital landscape even more apparent. "We don't need less centralization and specialization of clinics, but more," commented the chairman of the AOK Federal Association, Martin Litsch, on the results of the Hospital Report 2021. The analyzes by the Scientific Institute of the AOK (WIdO) show, among other things, that about half of the hospitals that treated Covid-19 cases in 2021 treated 86 percent of those cases. The remaining cases are spread across many hospitals that are not necessarily optimally equipped to care for this serious illness.

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“We need more specialization and more centralization. In any case, this centralized hospital treatment was a blessing for corona patients. "

Since the beginning of 2017, a new concept of the need for long-term care has been in force in long-term care insurance: It focuses on people's independence and no longer solely on their physical skills. The extent of the need for help is determined in five care levels instead of the previous care levels. The care dossier provides information on the benefits that the more than 3.1 million people in need of care and their relatives are entitled to, including a catalog of answers to frequently asked questions about the new concept of long-term care.

To the dossier

A good third of the expenditures for the medical care of the legally insured are accounted for in the inpatient area. This is the largest block of expenditure for health insurance companies. For the almost 2,000 hospitals in Germany, nationwide requirements apply to planning, financing, remuneration and also to quality assurance, which are usually contractually agreed and implemented at the state level. The federal states play an important role, especially in planning and financing. The hospital dossier explains the areas for which the countries, for which the health insurances are responsible and how the clinics are paid.

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Doctors in private practice are usually the first and most important point of contact for patients. More than 167,000 contract doctors and psychotherapists belong to the 17 regional associations of statutory health insurance physicians. They have the legal mandate to ensure outpatient care. There are nationwide guidelines for so-called requirements planning and also for remuneration. They form the framework for regional agreements between an association of statutory health insurance physicians and the health insurance companies and also for individual contracts.

To the dossier

Since the mid-1980s, the statutory health insurance companies have frequently recorded above-average increases in expenditure on pharmaceuticals. That is why the legislature has tried again and again to use new instruments to limit the increase and at the same time ensure that patients are supplied with innovative drugs. The supply of pharmaceuticals is therefore one of the areas with the greatest density of regulations.

To the dossier

© 2016 AOK Federal Association