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Public sickness funds, according to preliminary financial results for the first half of 2012, generated a surplus of around EUR 2.7 billion. Revenues of EUR 94.82 billion stand up against expenditure of EUR 92.13 billion. Revenues for the year increased by EUR 3.1 billion, with expenditure also increasing by EUR 2.8 billion.

As the Bundesgesundheitsministerium (BMG) explained, the „Gesundheitsfonds“ recorded a deficit of around EUR 488 million. The BMG notes that in this context, however, it is usually the second half of the year where revenues increase, while allocations from the health fund to the cash every month are always equal over the 12 months. This accounts for EUR 2.2 billion of the assets of the GKV in the first half of 2012.

Commentary: From the positive financial position of the funds, there could also be benefits for industry providers and service providers. Bundesgesundheitsminister Daniel Bahr spoke about the recent positive financial position of the funds, because they are not allowed to retain any savings. Currently only a few providers were giving small cash bonus payments – according to BGM, of the 700,000 insured just one percent were getting these bonuses. Other funds are planning additional benefits in contrast for their insured members.

Especially when the funds are deciding how to invest these financial reserves, there are opportunities presented to develop innovative models of care together. In this context, earlier this year, the DAK CEO Herbert Rebscher and health economist Günter Neubauer have expressed support for the use of the surplus in an „Innovation Fund“, under which innovative care models could be tested. This raises the question of how public sickness funds, who currently reinvest in quality of care, can utilise these models. 

[ilink url=“http://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/ministerium/presse/pressemitteilungen/2012-03/gkv-finanzen-im-1-halbjahr-2012.html“] Link zur Quelle (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit)[/ilink]