Health insurance companies pay for health Apps

Germany leads the world as the first state health Apps on the recipe. The decision is part of the law for the digital supply, adopted by the Bundestag with the votes of the Grand coalition. “Digital solutions can improve the patient’s everyday life, specifically,” said Federal Minister of health, Jens Spahn (CDU). “Therefore, there is as of 2020 healthy Apps on the recipe.” He spoke of a world premiere.

The draft law envisages that costs arising from the health insurance funds will be refunded. In addition, the Online will offer can find the new rules easier for patients, Doctors, office hours. Therefore, physicians should inform in the future on their website about such offers. Anyone who wishes to join a statutory health insurance voluntarily, can do so in the future electronically.

The law comes in January

Will be promoted with the new rules, in addition, the electronic doctor’s letter – namely the fact that the alternatively, frequently used Fax less remunerated than in the past. In addition, Doctors will have more opportunities to electronically exchange ideas with colleagues.

The law should take effect in January 2020. “The health care of the future will be even more data-driven health care”, – stated in the draft law, the Spahn in July brought on the path. Accordingly, the law aims, inter alia, to bring digital health applications quickly in the supply, to simplify administrative processes through digitalization or to be able to health data for research purposes.

Not all Doctors are enthusiastic about Spahns digitisation plans. In may, doctors have warned in an open letter to Spahn, patient data were not adequately protected against hacker attacks.

Not all of them are familiar with new technologies

Doctors President Klaus Reinhardt urged a cautious approach to new digital services for patients. “It doesn’t have all the people in this society have the same familiarity with new technologies, for example, because of their age,” said the head of the Federal chamber of physicians. “If we leave too strong and too fast on digital support, one must not forget the people who can’t handle it, maybe.” Otherwise, it could lead to “a kind of Two-class care”.

Reinhardt said that it would not be distinguish due to the large amount of Offered quite easy to use, which Apps are really the supply. “There are digital health applications that are very useful and helpful. But there are also a lot of frills, which brings no added value for patients and Physicians.” So Doctors may prescribe digital applications, it should be ensured that they do no damage.

“The digitization of medicine is also a question of Trust. I trust an engineered solution to a problem?” Between people, there are still other perception instruments, such as sympathy or empathy, through the trust that is required. “Data protection and secure data processing have to do with trust.”

For these concerns, the Ministry of health has a solution: According to the Ministry, the Apps need to be tested by the Federal Institute for drugs and medical devices (Bfarm) on data security, privacy, and functionality, before patients get the costs reimbursed. After this test, the manufacturer’s have a year of time, the Bfarm to demonstrate that the App will improve the care of patients. How much money does the manufacturer receive, negotiate it with the top Association of Statutory health insurance funds.