Clinics make losses with seriously ill people

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University clinics with high losses in seriously ill patients

University clinics with high losses in the treatment of complicated diseases. In view of the continuation of the previous case flat rates for the billing of medical services in university hospitals and a withdrawal of the proposed changes by the federal government, the Association of University Hospitals in Germany (VUD) has pointed out the negative consequences of the remuneration system.

In terms of costs, dead patients in the current billing system for the clinics would obviously be better than seriously ill. In order not to jeopardize their own profitability, the university clinics should theoretically reject the admission of patients in particularly complicated cases, according to the association. The system of flat rates per case, in which a fixed amount is paid to the clinics for each patient with a certain illness, only pays off if the course of the illness is particularly fast or normal. However, if patients develop complications, actual treatment costs are easily incurred, which are well above the fixed amount.

Clinics would have to reject complicated cases
Radically formulated, the previous system of flat rate incentives creates incentives to get rid of patients after the normal duration of treatment has been exceeded or to reject complicated cases from the outset. Hospitals would otherwise have to pay for attempts to heal that go beyond normal measurements out of their own pockets. According to the Association of University Hospitals, the university hospitals already incur annual costs of around 175 million euros. "Although the gap between rising costs and falling revenues is a fundamental problem in hospital financing, the money that is now promised will be withdrawn again after two years," the association of the university hospitals said at the beginning of last week.

20 years of failed hospital policy
There has long been a discussion about an urgently required adjustment of the flat rate case system. According to many clinical experts, the system of diagnosis-related case groups (DRG) should apply here. But with the current "concept, the burial of the German DRG system is heralded by the government coalition," criticized the general secretary of the VUD, Rüdiger Strehl. "This marks the end of the last ray of hope in 20 years of failed hospital policy," Strehl concludes. (fp)

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