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Aids and nursing aids are products whose costs are covered by the statutory health insurance funds (GKV), provided they are listed in the list of aids (HMV). For this purpose, the manufacturer of the aid must submit an application if its innovation, which must have certain properties and quality characteristics, is to be included in the list.

Gernot Kiefer, the deputy chairman of the GKV-Spitzenverband, however, expressly points out that this application must also be submitted so that the new and innovative products can be made known. In case of ignorance, no products could get into the directory. Last year, just one manufacturer submitted the application required for this purpose, explains Kiefer.

However, there are currently 36,200 products and new products in the HMV, partly because around 4,000 products have been added due to an occasion-based and regular revision. These are primarily new medical and technical developments that are innovative and of particularly high quality, such as digital assistance systems. In 2020, a total of 9.25 billion euros was thus spent on products that are needs-based and quality-assured. Per capita and year, this amounts to an average of 126 euros.