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Hospitals 'operating too often to make a profit'

The Local · 30 May 2012, 11:46

Published: 30 May 2012 11:46 GMT+02:00

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“One must increasingly watch out that one doesn’t come under the knife,” said Wulf-Dietrich Leber, hospital expert for the association of statutory insurers.

He said the rise in knee, hip and spinal operations would seem to overstep what was medically sensible.

The insurers say the growth in serious operations, which are not medically necessarily, was at least in part financially motivated.

A study the insurers’ association commissioned showed a 13 percent increase in treatments between 2006 and 2010. But only 40 percent of this increase can be attributed to the increased age of the population, said Boris Augurzky, the study’s author, from the Rhineland-Westphalia Institute of Economic Research.

He said part of the increase could be due to the fact that hospitals are simply offering to do more.

Story continues below…

Both he and the insurers say that the main reason was that hospitals are being paid larger amounts for operations – and the hospitals are thus increasing the number of the more lucrative operations they conduct. This includes operations on knees, hips, and backs, as well as cardiac interventions, which have significantly increased.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:14 May 30, 2012 by Grebo
"Operating too often to make a profit" makes it sounds like they are not making a profit because they are operating too often. "operating more than necessary to increase profits" would fit better
00:02 May 31, 2012 by pepsionice
To explain to Germans how you got to level of a mess....it's simple. Your budget-cutting crowd who run the national health care insurance program.....went back year after year....to cut corners. They forced doctors to accept lower pay scales. They took nurses down to the mat and demanded that they accept lower pay. They went to the pharmacy operations and demanded various deals where cut into profit. And they went to the hospitals, limited profits.

In the end....hospitals are trying to operate a 365-day operation, on a very thin marginal profit situation (don't forget about daily costs, infrastructure, new enhancements, security, etc). In a German hospital....every single full bed counts toward the profit of the hospital. Doctors are pushed to keep that patient in the hospital as many days as possible.

Angry and hostile over this report? Well....you wanted the cheapest health insurance package possible......you got it. You wanted them to cut corners? You got it. You wanted cheaper drugs? You got it.

Be careful what you wish for.....because in the end, you may get it, and you won't be happy.

(oh, yes, I'm an American who lived for fifteen years in Germany, and figured out the whole sorted mess. Things aren't that much better....it's just a differently designed mess)
18:16 June 6, 2012 by rwk
I agree with Grebo - please, TheLocal, understand enough English grammar to realize when you make serious logical/grammar errors. If a sentence can be interpreted differently by two people competent in the language, then there is a problem. When the interpretations are so drastic as to be opposites, as in this case, you present an example of what not to do. Generally, your command of English is better than adequate.
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