AOK: Start of the electronic health card



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AOK sends electronic health cards

The Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse AOK Bayern has sent almost half a million of the new electronic health card to the insured since the beginning of the week. The new health insurance card is gradually replacing the previous health insurance card (KVK). In the future, the health card will also serve as a digital patient file.

Since October 4, 2011, the AOK in Bavaria has already sent 440,000 electronic health cards to its insured. The fund has around 4.3 million insured persons. AOK Bayern has thus achieved the ten percent share prescribed by law by the end of the year. According to the health insurance company, the measure will gradually replace old cash cards. "Little by little, all of our policyholders receive the electronic health card," explains AOK director Peter Weber in Bamberg-Forchheim. Over 8,000 of the AOK health insurance fund members have already received a new health card there.

Digital patient records will be introduced in the future
The new card is intended to prevent expensive double examinations in the future and thus save costs for the healthcare system. By attaching a passport photo of the insured person, clear identification should be guaranteed. The card can then no longer be used if lost by an unauthorized third party. Also new is the gender information on the cardholder's health card. In the next step, the emergency data of the patients should be available using the installed chip. In this way, the attending doctor can call up information on allergies, laboratory tests, findings, medical reports, X-rays and blood groups. The data are to be read in via a permanently installed server of the insurer. The digital patient record is encrypted to prevent unauthorized access. The card can only be read using a reader. Since numerous associations and patients expressed concerns about data protection, the installation should only be done with the consent of the insured. Anyone who disagrees has little added value with the new health card.

As the AOK announced, many dental and family practices are already equipped with the new reading devices. However, since not all medical practices have a necessary reading device, consumer advocates and health insurance companies recommend keeping the old health insurance card within a transition period. The AOK director also gave this advice: "Nevertheless, we recommend that you keep the old health card temporarily so that it can be used in medical practices that are not yet equipped with the appropriate reader". The old card is only disposed of when the cash registers give the green light.

Keep the old health insurance card
To receive a new health insurance card, you have to wait for a letter from the responsible health insurance company. After the letter, a passport photo will be sent to the cash register. Most health insurance companies also offer an online service. There the images can be sent to the insurer via upload. A new electronic health card is only sent when the image reaches the cash register. As the legislature has increased the pressure on statutory health insurance and threatened fines, shipping will be pushed ahead rapidly in the coming months. (sb)

Read on:
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Facts about the new electronic health card
Electronic health card at AOK Plus
Data Protection Defects Electronic Health Card?
Electronic health card from October 2011
Chaos expected with new health card
Electronic health card warning
Data Protection Defects Electronic Health Card?
FDP for the introduction of the new health card
Start of the electronic health card

Image: AOK sample

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