Dentist appointments: Dental treatments are not at risk

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According to the health insurance companies, dental treatments are not at risk. Dental treatments will continue as normal until the end of the year.

(11/02/2010) "No more dental treatment this year", that was read today on the front pages of the different magazines. We also published the notice that the dentist appointments could possibly be postponed. But experts from the health insurance companies and those responsible for politics clearly say "No!" Refusing dental treatment would be against the law. The indication that dental treatment may no longer be carried out for health insurance patients is a campaign by the dentist representatives to demand higher budgets from health insurance companies. At least that is the view of the cash representatives.

Do health insurance patients become a game ball for dentists and health insurers? Are health insurance patients now a game ball for doctors and health insurance companies? Over the course of the day, numerous media published the horror message in the health system: dentist treatments may have to be postponed to the next year because the budgets of some statutory health insurance funds have been used up. Above all, the "Bildzeitung" reported that by the end of the year, no more dentist appointments would be made for some patients. Only emergencies, i.e. patients suffering from acute toothache or inflammation, are treated. The dentists would pay all other treatments out of their own pockets. AOK Berlin-Brandenburg insured are particularly affected. The online edition of the Bildzeitung referred to the National Dental Association (KZBV). Its chairman, Jürgen Fedderwitz, had told the online edition of the picture that the budget had already been used up in numerous cases.

The media reported that millions of people with statutory health insurance are potentially affected. "It can get tight with the stamp for the bonus booklet," Fedderwitz also told the DPA news agency. Numerous media now concluded from this bold statement that dental treatment for many health insured persons was in acute danger. Although it is reasonable to assume that some dental practices would rather refer patient insurers to the coming year because of a budget overrun, what should the dentists do in the meantime? Turn your thumb? Wait, drink tea and violate the supply law?

Rejection of patients is illegal The health insurance companies disagree with such a presentation. Because if dentists actually refused treatments this year, they would be breaking the law. "That would be illegal," a spokesman for the IKK told the online edition of the magazine "Stern". For political reasons, medical professionals should not simply shut down their practice. "Doctors are not allowed to close their practices for reasons of fee policy. They are contract partners of the health insurance funds, all year round," the health insurance spokesman continued.

State Secretary of Health Daniel Bahr (FDP) also made it clear that all statutory health insurance physicians are obliged to treat their patients comprehensively and adequately. The National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists was also legally obliged to ensure that patients were treated by the statutory health insurance dentists. A spokeswoman for the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV) also made it clear that dentists would violate the law if they refused treatment.

Dentists refuse no dental treatment It is almost impossible whether dentists actually refuse to carry out medical treatment for political reasons. In fact, a problem was raised here that does not exist in reality. "No cases are known to us so far," says the IKK. So far, the budget has not been exceeded. The shortage was also surprised. A spokeswoman said that only a complaint had been received. "There can really be no question of a mass problem here," the cash register spokeswoman told the "Stern". The AOK also confirmed that so far no case has been reported in which there has been an incident The doctor refused to carry out treatment and instead rescheduled the appointment to next year: "Apparently the dentists continue to treat as normal," said the AOK Berlin-Brandenburg.

Preventive check-up continues to be carried out Even preventive check-ups are to be carried out this year as well. "Preventive medical examinations will of course still be carried out this year," said a spokesman for the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists. In addition, it was made clear that only postponable treatments will be postponed to next year, "if you can answer for that," Günther Buchholz told Emergencies and acute treatments and larger-scale care are excluded from this. After all, one does not want to Responsible for cash-strapped patients to suffer financial gaps if there were gaps in the bonus booklets, and the dentists' association is obviously trying to smooth the waves after the outcry was great.

How did this excitement come about? How did all this excitement come about? According to an AOK spokeswoman, this is an initiative by the "dentists lobby" in the course of the planned health care reform. While doctors and clinics can look forward to increased fees, the dentists go away empty-handed. "Only the dentists haven't gotten anything from the cake yet," said the AOK representative. However, the note also shows that dentists' associations are now trying to negotiate higher fees for their doctors. Only at the weekend did the health insurance companies heavily criticize the rising doctor's fees.

Dentists continue to treat in the normal way. However, it is not known that dentists are currently engaging in such a "strength test". Patients can therefore be reassured. According to the health insurance companies, the doctors on site are very reasonable. After all, the doctors do not want to scare their own patients and obviously keep the political debate about higher medical fees out of the dental practices. For health insurance companies, this means preparing for further negotiations with medical representatives. Higher medical fees could lead to further additional contributions, but not to a refusal of dental treatment. (sb)

Also read:
Dentist treatments at risk for AOK patients?
Dentists: rip off teeth cleaning?

Image: Harry Hautumm /

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