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New fee schedule: dentists criticize this draft
The new draft law of the Federal Ministry of Health on the schedule of fees for dentists (GOZ) has been massively criticized by the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists (KZBV). The dentists accuse the Federal Ministry of Health that the current draft "ignores the cost developments of the past twenty years".
According to the draft of the GOZ amendment sent by the Federal Ministry of Health to the associations, state governments and health insurance companies on Tuesday, dentists will in future receive around six percent more fees for dental treatment. While the association of private health insurers immediately rejected the planned increases as soon as the new draft law became known, Dr. Peter Engel, President of the Bundeszahnärztekammer, stated that "after 23 years of zero round (...) an approximately six percent increase is not economically acceptable". The dentists are demanding a significantly higher fee increase.
Draft fee schedule for dentists unacceptable The reactions to the new draft fee schedule for dentists can hardly be more different. While the Association of Private Health Insurance rejects the fee increase of six percent as too high, the KZBV emphasizes that these are clearly too low and calls for an adjustment in the double-digit percentage range. The current draft law ignores the cost developments of the past twenty years and the dentists "should continue to work at the fee level of 1988", criticized the CEO of the KZBV, Dr. Jürgen Fedderwitz. In order to take into account the dental progress of the past years and also to ensure that the legally insured persons benefit from the ever better treatment options, a modern GOZ is required, emphasized Dr. Fedderwitz. But at this point the current draft is "disastrous for patients and dentists alike", since participation in medical progress with the fees "from 1988 is not economically viable". "This amendment is due solely to the political and financial circumstances," emphasized Dr. Peter Engel also complained that "new medical standards (...) are not sufficiently taken into account in the service descriptions".
New revision of the fee schedule for dentists urgently necessary The fact that the revision of the fee schedule for dentists is urgently required is the same for both the insurance companies and the Federal Ministry of Health as well as the associations of doctors and dentists. Because in the existing, twenty-year-old fee schedule, numerous newer treatment methods are not covered at all. However, the doctors and dentists not only speak in favor of adjusting the content of the therapy options, they also hope for a significant increase in fees. However, both the Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) and private health insurance companies have an opposite interest here - they want to keep the cost increase as low as possible. In the current draft bill on the GOZ, the Federal Ministry of Health has spoken in favor of a small fee increase of six percent, but the Association of Private Health Insurance has already rejected this as inappropriate.
PKV urges cost reduction According to the PKV association, dentists have been able to record a significant increase in salaries in recent years even without changing the fee schedule. However, private health insurance only refers to your own costs in the area of denture services. The fact that other factors - such as the aging of the population - may have led to an increase in expenditure is also not taken into account, as is the development of costs on the part of dentists. Overall, the reaction of private health insurance companies can almost be described as a reflex that is triggered regularly as soon as additional costs threaten. In addition to the six percent higher fees, the private insurers hurt in the current draft law above all the rejection of an opening clause that would enable the private health insurance company to negotiate directly with the individual dentists. However, the exclusion of such an opening clause is one of the few positive points in the new fee schedule for the KZBV and the Federal Dental Association. The fact that private health insurance companies cannot conclude individual contracts with dentists protects the dentists from enormous pressure to negotiate, which the private health insurance would otherwise use to reduce their own costs. (fp)
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