NewsLauterbach's new doctor's practice law: good news for patients...

Lauterbach's new doctor's practice law: good news for patients through innovation?

Created: 10/20/2022, 1:38 p.m

After the announced abolition of the new patient regulation in medical practices, there could now also be positive news.

Frankfurt – Full waiting rooms in medical practices and long searches for appointments: The new law by Karl Lauterbach, which also provides for enormous cost-cutting measures for practices, has caused a lot of criticism of the GKV Financial Stabilization Act. Now it should be improved. The innovation could bring some advantages for patients.

After the health minister’s proposed legislation became known, many doctors went on the barricades. Quite a few responded to the announced abolition of the new patient regulation with short-term practice closures. This means that the practices no longer receive bonuses when they take on new patients. Now there should be other financial incentives, as Karl Lauterbach (SPD) explained to the editorial network Germany (RND).

Das neue Gesetz von Karl Lauterbach könnte für Patientinnen und Patienten nun eine neue positive Änderung mit sich bringen.
Karl Lauterbach’s new law could now bring a new positive change for patients. © argum/Imago

Lauterbach law ahead of innovation: it could now bring advantages for patients

In an amendment by the coalition factions for the GKV Financial Stabilization Act, general practitioners are now to be paid for arranging appointments with specialists quickly. The RND reports that this fee is to be increased to 15 euros per patient instead of the previous ten euros. According to this, medical specialists should also receive higher payment if they arrange for patients to be referred via the appointment service points. Depending on the speed, the flat-rate supply can be increased up to three times.

“Getting an appointment with a specialist must finally be much easier than before,” Lauterbach explained to the editorial network. Increasing the fees could prove to be a good lever for this. The Minister of Health added: “This is an important step against two-tier medicine”. With this change, it could be easier for patients to get an appointment with a specialist, despite the abolition of the new patient regulation.

Karl Lauterbach’s GKV Financial Stabilization Act: These are the key points

  • Increase income from health insurance companies: grant from the federal government of an additional two billion euros, supplemented by a loan of one billion euros (currently 14.5 billion euros), increase in the additional contribution of the contributors
  • Limit spending: Put the brakes on drug costs. Increase manufacturer discount from 2023 and extend the price moratorium for pharmaceuticals. This means that pharmaceutical companies cannot increase their prices at will at the expense of health insurance companies. In addition, various budgets and bonuses are to be limited or abolished, such as the new patient regulation.
  • Source: Federal Ministry of Health


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