Medical Reform

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Pinched by Overcharging, Germany Prepares to Revise Payments to its Public Hospitals

Operation in Klinik
Health minister wants to curb hospital costs.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Health insurance companies have long complained that hospitals in Germany manipulate the compensation system to be able to charge more for procedures.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Germany is ranked 20th in world in life expectancy.
    • Average hospital stay in Germany is nine days.
    • In the United States, the average hospital stay is five to six days.
  • Audio

    Audio

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As part of hospital reform, Germany’s federal minister of health, Hermann Gröhe, a Christian Democrat, wants to change how some 2,000 clinics and hospitals in Germany are compensated. His demand comes in response to criticism by health insurance companies that hospitals have long manipulated existing laws to inflate prices.

In Germany, the Institute for Hospital Remuneration System is the organization responsible for determining compensation rates. Mr. Gröhe said that in the future, the body “can make a representative sample” of participating hospitals so that drops in material costs are reflected in price calculations. The details would be decided by a working group of federal states that will present key points on hospital reform this fall.

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