Germany: laws passed to support healthcare system through COVID-19

The Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit, BMG) has announced measures approved by the Federal Council against the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 Hospital Relief Act has been designed to relieve the financial burden on hospitals, and encourage them into helpful actions. Extensive and specific provisions are explained, for example:

“Hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, contract doctors and nursing facilities are supported to shoulder the effects of the corona epidemic. This will enable hospitals to provide care capacity to a growing number of patients with coronavirus infection. The loss of fees paid by resident doctors is also cushioned. Nursing homes are also temporarily relieved of bureaucracy and also financially supported.

  • Hospitals receive financial compensation for rescheduled operations and treatments to free up capacity to treat patients with coronavirus infection. For each bed that is not occupied in the period from March 16, 2020 to September 30, 2020, or for every patient who was not treated as an inpatient compared to the previous year, the hospitals receive a flat rate of 560 euros per patient who has stayed away . The compensation is paid from the health fund’s liquidity reserve and refinanced from the federal budget.
  • Hospitals receive a bonus of EUR 50,000 for every intensive care bed they create. The costs for this are financed from the health fund’s liquidity reserve. In addition, the federal states are to finance further necessary investment costs in the short term.
  • For additional costs, especially for personal protective equipment, hospitals receive a supplement of 50 euros per patient from April 1 to June 30, 2020, which can be extended and increased if necessary.”

These provisions join those in the Law for the Protection of the Population in an Epidemic Situation of National Importance to create, it is hoped, a stable system in which to overcome the pandemic.

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Published on 3. April 2020 in News, News Germany, Press Release