300 million euros more for doctors' fees

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0.9 percent more fee for health insurance physicians from 2013

The health doctors are demanding higher remuneration and an announcement about the doctors' strike is in the air. The Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) is demanding a total of 3.5 billion euros more for general practitioners and specialists. The doctors' association has now overruled an arbitration award: the doctors should receive a total of just 300 million euros a year. Accordingly, the landmark value should increase by 0.9 percent from 2013. Given the results, doctors were "disappointed".

Slightly more medical fees
Doctors should get more fees from next year, as the Extended Evaluation Committee has just decided. The General Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV) agreed to this result, but the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians refused to give their consent. The decision for the decision was made by the committee chair, Professor Jürgen Wasem.

This means that the total remuneration of statutory health insurance contract doctors will increase by 0.9 percent from the coming year. Instead of the 3.5 billion required by the medical association, the health insurance companies now have to shell out a total of 300 million euros more per year. This was the result of the extended evaluation committee with the votes of the GKV association and the vote of the committee chair, Professor Jürgen Wasem, against the vote of the KBV.

This year the ideas of the opponents were very far apart. While the KBV had requested an increase in fees of 3.5 billion euros, the GKV even wanted to achieve a reduction in medical allowances of around 2.2 billion euros. The health insurance companies based their ideas on the rationalization effects and the more intensive cooperation between doctors. With the sum of 300 million euros, the arbitration award remained exactly in the middle of the two contractual partners. "However, this will not calm the anger of the doctors," said KBV spokesman Roland Stahl. The deputy chairman of the umbrella association of health insurance companies, Johann-Magnus von Stackelberg, on the other hand, praised the pronounced arbitration award. This is "a reasonable solution". In addition, the Vice-Chairman of the GKV draws attention to the fact that doctors receive around 33 billion euros from the health insurance funds each year.

Before the negotiations, the health insurance physicians had indicated that expenditure on personnel and purchases had risen steadily. In addition, there is a "significant investment backlog in medical practices", in many practices new devices would have to be purchased.

Dissatisfaction with the doctors about the result
In the opinion of the “Ärzte-Zeitung”, the rejection on the part of the KBV in the extended evaluation committee expresses the “dissatisfaction and disappointment with the possible development of fees next year”. Because the health insurance companies even called for a lowering before the negotiations, "considerable protest potential" had built up within the medical profession.

An extraordinary meeting of representatives of the KBV will take place next Saturday. This should not only receive delegates from the KBV, but also doctors and association representatives. Numerous medical representatives had already put practice closures up for discussion as a means of protest in the past few days. In addition, the “right to strike for contract doctors” should be examined, as stated by observers.

Psychotherapists earn the least
According to the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden, the average monthly net income of a health insurance contract doctor is around 5,442 euros. A general practitioner would earn around 5018 euros a month net. A specialist in orthopedics for about 6344 euros. Licensed psychotherapists earn the least. According to the latest surveys, their average wage is 2,658 euros. The Federal Office plans to publish the 2011 figures next year. (sb)

Image: Sigrid Rossmann / pixelio.de

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