Dangerous austerity: countries pay less to clinics

The federal states pay less and less for investments in their hospitals. In 2011 it was only 2.67 billion euros, one fifth less than 10 years ago. The more criticism comes from the statutory health insurance, which has transferred in 2011 as much money as never before to the hospitals.

According to the data of the Association of Supreme Land Health Authorities, the payments of the federal states to the hospitals decreased by 20 percent between 2001 and 2011. The purchase of large medical equipment and for renovations has been drastically saved, from formerly 3.39 billion euros migrated in 2011 now only 2.67 billion euros in the accounts of hospitals. This financial neglect for the medical-technical and structural infrastructure reaps massive criticism, also from the Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr. He had criticized that the countries do not fulfill their obligations.

Financing will depend on the contributor

In his criticism, the umbrella association of statutory health insurance becomes more specific: “The federal states want to have more say in health policy, but they are less and less in compliance with their statutory payment obligations,” said deputy CEO Johann-Magnus von Stackelberg. The association assumes in the current development that “the countries pay by 2021 not a cent more for the hospitals”. The costs of financing the clinics would have to be paid by the contributors.

Case fee of GVK compensates for underfunding

Already now it can be assumed that about half of the necessary investments will be financed by the lump sums of the statutory health insurance. However, it is legally required that the provinces are responsible for the existence of the hospitals, the GKV only for the operation. The lump sum stipulates that regardless of the quantity or type of service actually provided, a certain amount per treatment case is paid.

Every sixth clinic in financial distress

The chairman of the Minister of Health Minister Andreas Storm rejected the allegations: “The countries do not withdraw from the hospital financing.” Nevertheless, no change in hospital financing is provided. Thus, the dilemma of hospitals is getting bigger. On the one hand, the federal government spends less on the treatment allowances, on the other hand, the countries reduce investment. So it is not surprising that almost every sixth hospital is threatened with closure, as evidenced by the recently published Hospital Rating Report 2012.

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