Hospital reform: countries agree

Karl Lauterbach (SPD)

In the run-up to the consultations, Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach expressed confidence with regard to the federal-state meeting.

(Photo: IMAGO/Chris Emil Janssen)

Berlin The federal and state governments have agreed on common cornerstones for hospital reform. “It’s a kind of revolution,” said Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) on Monday afternoon after the negotiations. “We are replacing the system of flat-rate per case with the system of flat-rate payments.” 14 federal states voted in favor of the project, Schleswig-Holstein abstained, Bavaria voted against it.

In the future, clinics will receive money for offering services – even if they do not perform them. “The hospitals are no longer forced to provide as many services as possible,” said Lauterbach. The “economic pressure” is gone.

In addition, only clinics that meet uniform quality criteria would receive the flat rate. “Patients can rest assured that the treatments are necessary and that complex services are provided in specialist centers.”

The aim is for the reform to come into force on January 1, 2024. Lauterbach is also planning a “transparency law” with which data on the treatment quality of all clinics is to be published. The federal government will do this for itself.

The North Rhine-Westphalian Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) spoke of a “long way”. The federal and state governments met for the first time several weeks ago for consultations, and an agreement had to be postponed due to criticism from the states. He assumes that the consensus in the Bundestag and Bundesrat will receive the necessary majority, said Laumann.

More to come.

More: “Damaging reputation” for hospitals: countries oppose Lauterbach’s reform

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