Berlin - With optimally coordinated outpatient care, around 3.7 million hospital cases per year in Germany would be avoidable. This could save health insurance companies around 7.2 billion euros annually. This is the conclusion reached by Leonie Sundmacher from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich in one of the Central Institute for Statutory Health Insurance in Germany ().
With their analysis, list of diagnoses was created for Germany for the first time, for which hospitalization could potentially be avoided with good outpatient care. International health research refers to these cases as "ambulatory-sensitive hospital cases", or ASK for short. These include health scientists, for example, heart failure, COPD, hypertension and diabetes. Such catalog did not previously exist in Germany. The Expert Council for the Assessment of Developments in the Health Care System (SVR) had already requested this catalog for Germany in special report in 2012.
In addition to the questionnaire on diagnoses and assessments of whether the patient in question could also be treated on an outpatient basis , the doctors surveyed were able to indicate how in their opinion these ASK cases could be avoided. Most often, the study participants said that continuous treatment needs to be improved. This includes the coordination between the treating physicians, the expansion of telematics and integrated care, explained Sundmacher. As second point, from the perspective of the participating doctors, the accessibility of the care must be improved. This also includes shorter waiting times and strengthening non-medical health professions.
Gassen: Increase quality and save considerable costs For ZI managing director Dominik von Stillfried, the catalog is groundbreaking for the discussion in Germany: “The German ASK catalog is the youngest and therefore the most extensive internationally. It shows ways in which the health insurance companies can be relieved in the long term despite the aging of the population. ”For ZI and Executive Board Chairman Andreas Gassen, the catalog also shows that“ effective treatment in the outpatient sector would reduce the number of hospital cases. That would not only increase the quality of our care, it would also save considerable costs. ”
DKG: Expert report shows that more hospitals have to be used Georg Baum, Managing Director of the Germans, interprets it differently Hospital Society () the presented study results: "The report correctly shows that the conditions for timely and effective outpatient provision in the KV system are not given," said Baum in press release. From his point of view, “the only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the outpatient treatment options of the hospitals must be used significantly more,” said Baum.