▷ Traffic light reform projects: sensible approaches and open questions

29.11.2021 – 16:06

German Evangelical Hospital Association V. (DEKV)

Berlin (ots)

Health and hospital policy reform projects have to be planned in a dovetailed manner and a solution for investment financing has to be found

The future government partners SPD, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and FDP have presented their health policy reform projects for the 20th legislative period in the coalition agreement. It contains many sensible approaches to transforming the health system, but some important questions remain open. The chairman of the German Evangelical Hospital Association (DEKV), Christoph Radbruch: “The political will to dissolve the long overdue health and hospital policy reform backlog is unmistakable. The aim is to create a modern and robust health system that ensures patient care across the board. It is therefore a pleasingly clear signal to modernize the reform of the hospital structure and hospital financing with a federal-state pact and a government commission in a timely, efficient and patient-centered manner. However, all those involved must not ignore the investment financing that has been inadequate for years close the countries. ”

Solve investment cost problem

The national investment cost gap is three billion euros annually. As a result, hospitals have been increasingly forced to finance themselves through operating costs for years. However, these are not enough to run a hospital economically. As a result, many hospitals are operating in deficit. Most recently, 40 percent of hospitals recorded losses and 13 percent were threatened with bankruptcy, according to the Federal Audit Office in its inventory of the state of federal finances for the 20th electoral period on November 10, 2021.

The solution to the investment cost problem is, in addition to the introduction of needs-based and stringent planning, a success criterion for the reform of hospital care. “Because if the planned expansion and optimization of the DRG system only involves a redistribution of the funds available up to now from case-based to retention lump sums, this will not be a sustainable solution,” warns the DEKV chairman.

Create a data basis for reform projects

The prerequisite for the development of targeted proposals for a needs-based hospital structure and hospital financing is a comprehensive, valid inventory of the service and cost data. This evaluation must include the inpatient and outpatient services, the quality data as well as the bureaucracy and documentation required for patient care. The data must be broken down by region, sector and, in the inpatient area, also by type of carrier. Only on this basis can the government commission act in a targeted and future-oriented manner.

Cross-sector supply planning by the federal and state levels

“It is imperative to interlink the reform projects with cross-sector care planning. The aim is for the federal and state governments to jointly further develop outpatient requirement planning and inpatient hospital planning This means that cross-sector, needs-based planning, which prevents duplicate structures, is the central prerequisite and the decisive success criterion for a successful reform of hospital care. The central reform processes must therefore take place in parallel and interact with one another from the outset, “urges Radbruch.

Shaping more cross-sectoral patient care

Many approaches to design and promote cross-sector patient care point in the right direction. Using outpatient potential in the inpatient area can help to increase the efficiency of health care. Combined with targeted and positive incentives for the hospitals, from the perspective of the Protestant hospitals, inpatient structures can be opened up to a greater extent on an outpatient basis and effectively transformed. The motto of the coalition agreement “Dare to make more progress” must be accompanied by courage, decision-making power and curiosity about new care models at the outpatient-inpatient interface.

More entrepreneurial supply design

The priorities and the measures in the coalition agreement are set correctly for the Protestant hospitals. They enable the entrepreneurial, regional creative drive of hospitals and other service providers to be released through attractive population-based supply contracts with the health insurers. An extended legal scope for contracts according to § 140a and § 110a SGB V between health insurance companies and service providers will lead to strengthening innovative forms of care. If these contractual instruments have a positive and quality-enhancing effect on future patient care, health-related common good is the desired result.

Multi-professional, integrated health and emergency centers, health lotteries, community nurses as well as the job description “Community Health Nurse” could in future open up low-threshold access to health services in the social area. These measures seem suitable to empower citizens to take more responsibility for their health and to provide them with professional support if necessary. In addition, they could improve the population’s knowledge of health and the health system and enable patients to navigate more competently and more self-determinedly in the health and social system.

More care, less bureaucracy

The main part of the nursing and medical work must be in patient care, not in complex documentation work. It is therefore good and right to reduce bureaucracy and thus lower the hurdles to good patient care. In doing so, all possibilities of digitization must be exhausted. With the project “to make the burdens of bureaucracy and reporting obligations recognizable beyond the legal regulations”, the bureaucratic effort for politics and citizens becomes clear. This can be the starting point for a new dialogue about bureaucracy in the health sector and help to find an appropriate level together.

The Protestant hospitals encourage the Ampel coalitionaries to redistribute tasks and areas of responsibility in the health and social system and for the actors. The DEKV will support the new government in a constructive and creative way.

Press contact:

Medizin & PR GmbH – health communication
Barbara Kluge | Eupener Strasse 60, 50933 Cologne
Email: [email protected] | Tel .: 0221 / 77543-0

Melanie Chancellor | Association Director
Email: [email protected] | Tel .: 030 80 19 86-11

Original content by: Deutscher Evangelischer Krankenhausverband e. V. (DEKV), transmitted by news aktuell


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