Every third hospital bill too high



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Techniker Krankenkasse Hessen: Every third hospital bill is too high. The Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) Hessen announced that in 2009 33.5 percent of the checked hospital bills in the state were overstated. The amount in dispute is said to have amounted to more than 100 million euros.

(04/27/2010) The Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) Hessen announced that in 2009 the state, 33.5 percent of the checked hospital bills were overstated. The amount in dispute is said to have amounted to more than 100 million euros. The medical service of the health insurance companies (MDK) is responsible for checking the invoices. He had checked over 275,000 hospital bills from the past year on behalf of the health insurance companies and found that almost every third bill was too high. In 92 200 cases, the flat rate per case was not calculated correctly. According to the MDK, the hospital bill was too high or inpatient admission and treatment was not appropriate. A year earlier, with 29 percent incorrect bills, there had been almost five percent less defective hospital bills.

If a faulty invoice is discovered, the hospitals must reimburse the respective amount. The value in dispute for the incorrect invoices found in 2009 for all cash registers should have been over 100 million euros. The Techniker Krankenkasse had a value in dispute of just over five million euros. In 2008 it was half a million euros less.

This means that the hospitals are currently experiencing a sharp wind at the media level. The chairwoman of the board of the GKV umbrella association, Dr. Doris Pfeiffer has described the rules of the review modalities as "strange". From media reports it became known that for a review of a hospital bill that turned out to be correct, the health insurers would have to pay a penalty of 300 euros. Whereas the hospitals would only have to pay back the wrongly demanded difference if the invoice was incorrect. Furthermore, according to media reports, around 40 percent of the hospital bills controlled by the MDK nationwide are over-inflated by an average of around 1100 euros.

Unfortunately, there is currently no official statement from the German Hospital Society (DKG). It is an amalgamation of central and regional associations of the hospital owners of local German hospitals and can be seen as an important organ and mouthpiece for hospitals. (TF)

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