Bavaria: General practitioners fight against health insurance companies

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Hardened fronts between Bavarian general practitioners and the health insurance companies: General practitioners vote on the collective return of the medical license.

Today's Wednesday, the Bavarian general practitioners gathered in Nuremberg to decide, among other things, on the proposals of the Bavarian General Medical Association (BHÄV) for the collective return of their health insurance approvals. The health insurance companies warn the general practitioners of this step, which will have serious consequences. After the authorization has been returned, the Bavarian doctors cannot treat patients with a health insurance card. Thousands of general practitioners are meeting at the hour and are currently voting on the return of a medical license.

Interest policy to the detriment of the patients Even in the run-up to the event, the dispute between the family doctors and the health insurance companies in Bavaria intensified, which culminated in the fact that the AOK Bavaria and the Bavarian replacement funds terminated their family doctor contracts without notice due to "serious breaches of contract". A few days later, the replacement health insurance companies also terminated the general practitioner contract. However, the BHÄV was not impressed by the drastic approach and growing criticism from the ranks of politics. The association hopes to win the majority of Bavarian family doctors for the collective return of the health insurance certificates at today's meeting. So the fronts remain extremely hardened shortly before the vote. In urgent press releases, the health insurance companies and the BHÄV accuse each other of a policy of interest on the back of the patient and make the other party responsible for the impending supply shortage of the patient.

Politicians criticize the approach of general practitioners If 60 percent of Bavarian general practitioners (3,813 of the members entitled to vote) decide to exit the cash register system at the assembly in the Nuremberg arena, this would be a unique process that could shake the entire German healthcare system . So the nervousness grows in the ranks of politics. The Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) warned general practitioners against crossing a “red line” when returning their health insurance approval. No Prime Minister and no government can accept this, Seehofer scolded in the direction of the Bavarian family doctors. From Berlin, the State Secretary for Health, Stefan Kapferer (FDP), addressed the Bavarian doctors with cautionary words: "Anyone who gets out of the cash register system must not work as a cash doctor for the next six years," emphasized Kapferer with regard to the financial consequences. Overall, however, the federal government was rather reluctant to withdraw from the health insurance system in view of the threat from Bavarian family doctors. There have been several such threats, so it should first be seen how the doctors actually decide, said a spokeswoman for the health department.

Consequences of the collective return of the health insurance certificates So far it remains unclear what consequences the collective return of the health insurance certificates would have for the patients. While the BHÄV in the current press release once again underlines its intention to immediately negotiate new, better-endowed contracts with the health insurers after a successful exit, six of the statutory Bavarian health insurance companies have already categorically refused to conclude new contracts with general practitioners. This would mean that doctors would no longer be able to use the chip card to invoice treatment for those insured under the law after March 30, 2011, and patients would have to pay out of pocket for the medical services they received. Numerous health experts believe that the exit of Bavarian general practitioners from the health insurance system could trigger an earthquake in the entire German healthcare system. Therefore, the voting result of the Bavarian family doctors, which is expected to be available this evening, is not only eagerly awaited by the health insurance companies. In the run-up to the event, BHÄV chairman Wolfgang Hoppenthaller was optimistic that he would achieve the quorum required for the collective return of the cash register approvals. (fp)

Also read:
Substitute health insurers also terminate their family doctor contract
Bavaria calls on doctors to reason
Family doctors association insists on system change
AOK Bayern terminates family doctor contracts without notice
PKV and doctors argue about fees
AOK boss: problem with medical oversupply
Dispute between AOK and family doctors escalates

Image: Rainer Sturm /

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