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The AOK hospitals report 2013 states that Germany’s hospitals have treated as many patients last year as never before. 18.3m treatments were supposed to be administered – an increase of 11.8% compared to five years before (16.8m). In 2011 alone 310,000 treamtents were added. According to the publishers one reason for that increase is that, frequently, many clinics only operate in order to generate money.

Half of the increase can be alloted to diseases of the musculo-skeletal system, the circulatory system and the urinary organs. The number of spine surgeries on AOK-insured persons has doubled between 2005 and 2010. Implementation of new cardiac pace makers or replacement of pace makers increased by 25% between 2008 and 2010. Furthermore, in international comparison Germany has the most operations regarding artificial knee and hip joints.

Comment:Hospital charges are by far the biggest cost factor in the statutory health insurance system. In 2011 they increased by 3.4% and accounted for EUR 60.83bn. A significant rise can be seen since 2006. Therefore, the increased number of treatments is a thorn in GKV’s side. Regardless of GKV’s criticism an increase in „number of treatments in hospitals“ adds up to an increase in „number of benefits to become due outside the hospital“. Therefore, players in the homecare market could benefit from operations with secular growth trends.

[ilink url=“http://www.aok-bv.de/presse/veranstaltungen/2012/index_09215.html“] Link to source (AOK Bundesverband)[/ilink]