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Health and care: DAK boss Storm: A turning point is also needed in health policy

Health and care: DAK boss Storm: A turning point is also needed in health policy

The German health care system has more than one problem. In order to make it future-proof, DAK boss Storm is convinced that a change of era is necessary.

The CEO of the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit, Andreas Storm, is calling for a change of era in health and care, similar to security policy. The problems are so great that fundamental changes are necessary. This transformation can only be achieved with additional money, Storm told the German Press Agency. The baby boomer effects alone, which will reach their peak in 15 to 20 years, will place a huge burden on the health and care system. Both systems are dramatically underfunded.

Storm criticized what he saw as the completely inadequate payment from the federal budget to the health insurance companies for citizens’ allowance recipients. “It only covers a good third of the actual costs.” The amount involved is more than nine billion euros a year. According to Storm, the health fund in the statutory health insurance system (GKV) amounts to around 300 billion euros a year. The funding gap for citizens’ allowance corresponds to half a percentage point in the contribution rate.

“A huge justice problem”

In addition, there is the different treatment of those insured by statutory health insurance and those insured privately when it comes to citizens’ benefits, which Storm believes is a “sociopolitical scandal of the first order”. A citizen’s benefit recipient who has private health insurance slips into the basic tariff of his insurance company. “The state pays three and a half times the amount that it pays to the statutory health insurance. We have a huge problem of justice here,” said the CEO of Germany’s third-largest health insurance company.

According to Storm, the federal subsidy to cover non-insurance services of 14.5 billion euros is now lower than it was in 2010. Unlike pension insurance, the subsidy is not dynamic. Services that the taxpayer would have to pay for would be passed on to the statutory health insurance. This also includes the restructuring of hospitals. The transformation fund required for this is to be funded with 50 million euros over the next 10 years. The statutory health insurance is to pay half of this. “This is a misappropriation of contribution money.” According to Storm, it is not only the health insurance companies who see it this way. “This is also the assessment of the Federal Audit Office.”

Modernization called for

In addition, the traffic light coalition is considering a contribution from the statutory health insurance to additional medical study places of 660 million euros per year, which is the responsibility of the state. The DAK boss criticized that there are no plans for private health insurance to contribute to either the study places or the transformation fund for hospitals.

Storm is convinced that health insurance will be under sustained financial pressure in the coming years, partly due to medical progress and the aging of the population. “This is in the order of a quarter of a contribution rate point per year. By 2035, this factor alone would mean that the contribution rate for statutory health insurance would have to rise by around two and a half points.” He sees the need to use more tax money in the health care system and in long-term care insurance, said Storm. In addition, the system urgently needs to be modernized and digitized. “We are facing a quantum leap when the electronic patient record (EPA) is available to everyone next year.” This could result in significant savings and improve the quality of care.

Source: Stern

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