More money for dentists through new fee schedule



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More money for dentists through new fee schedule: The Association of Private Health Insurance fears additional burdens for all insured.

According to a new bill by the Federal Ministry of Health, dentists will receive around six percent higher fees for dental treatment in the future. Yesterday the draft of the planned schedule of fees was sent to associations, state governments and health insurance companies. The association of private health insurance companies promptly rejected the planned increases. Medical fees paid by resident dentists have increased by 36 percent in the past ten years. Increases affect not only private patients but also statutory health insurers. After all, health insurance patients have to pay more and more dental services out of their own pockets.

Six percent higher doctor's fees planned According to the will of the Ministry of Health, dentists will receive higher doctor's fees in the future. This primarily affects privately insured persons. Private patients will soon pay around six percent more for dental services. Statutory health insurers are also affected by the new regulations. Above all, the fees for dental services that are no longer reimbursed by the health insurance should increase here. These include, for example, posterior fillings without amalgam filling, elaborate crowns and dental implants. All these treatments are no longer listed in the health insurance benefits catalog and must be paid as private additional benefits.

Outdated fee schedule According to the Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP), the currently applicable fee schedule is "completely out of date". The regulation has not been renewed for more than 20 years. According to the Ministry, this is particularly problematic because numerous newer treatment methods are not yet included in the service catalog. The new creation should include numerous services.

Bundeszahnärztekammer: Amendment not far-reaching enough The planned adjustments are not far-reaching enough for the Bundeszahnärztekammer. The 6 percent increase is "far too small". However, one welcomes the decision of the Federal Minister of Health Rösler to waive an opening clause in the draft bill for the GOZ. "This takes account of one of our most important demands," said the chair of the German Dental Association, Dr. Peter Engel. On the other hand, the design is far too little "based on the scientific state of dentistry and ignores the cost developments of recent years," criticized Engel. From the point of view of the medical representative, an “acceptable reform” must encompass three essential areas: no opening clause in the regulation section, updated service descriptions and compensation for “23 years withholding an overdue fee adjustment”. “This amendment is due solely to the political and financial circumstances. New medical standards are not sufficiently taken into account in the service descriptions. And after 23 years of zero round, an approximately 6 percent increase is not economically acceptable. After this time, the dentists are horrified by the point value shutdown, ”Engel complains.

The Association of Private Health Insurance (PKV) sees no need to catch up, however. In the past, fees for dentists had "risen above average". Volker Leienbach, chairman of the PKV, said: "The fees from the fee schedule for dentists (GOZ) have already risen above average in recent years." Instead, the association also calls for a so-called "opening clause" for "more contract freedom" in the fee schedule for dentists "To introduce. In this way, in the interest of private patients, concrete "quality and performance standards can be agreed with the dentists".

Not only private patients are affected Leienbach pointed out that the planned revision of the fee schedule affects not only the approximately nine million privately insured, but also all 70 million health insurance patients. Because legally insured people have to pay for many dental treatments themselves today due to cuts in numerous health services. These costs are charged according to the fee catalog for private services. The draft of the black and yellow coalition ultimately affects all health insurers in Germany.

Sharp increase in medical fees in the past ten years According to the PKV, expenditure on dentistry has risen sharply in the past ten years. In 1999, insurance companies still had to spend 359 euros per insured person for dental services per year. In 2009 it was 488 euros. This corresponds to an increase in expenditure of around 36 percent. Accordingly, expenditure is twice as high compared to the regular price increase (17 percent). Because of this development, the association president believes that the planned adjustments are completely exaggerated. Any increase in fees will ultimately be borne by all insured. Overall, doctor's fees have risen sharply in recent years. (sb)

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Image: Schemmi / pixelio.de

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