THE GERMAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION DECIDES LIBERALIZATION OF REMOTE TREATMENT AN OPEN INVITATION TO U.S. COMPANIES?
MAY 10, 2018
Erfurt, GERMANY - By an overwhelming majority, the delegates of the 121th German Medical Conference approved an amendment to the medical (model) professional code (MBO) and relaxed the hitherto existing professional prohibition on exclusive long-term treatment.
In the future, counseling and treatment via communication media should also be permitted "without personal first contact" "if this is medically justifiable and the required medical care is ensured, in particular by the method of collecting findings, advice, treatment and documentation, and the patient the patient is also informed about the peculiarities of exclusive counseling and treatment via communication media ", so the text of the new regulation.
PUSH FOR TELEMEDICINE POSSIBLE
This could give telemedicine in Germany a boost, because legal gray areas are eliminated and doctors get more room for maneuver. "We want to and have to shape this process and fill this field with our medical expertise," emphasized Josef Mischo, board member of the German Medical Association (BÄK) and chairman of the competent professional bodies of the BÄK. He also made it clear that digital techniques could not replace the necessary personal attention of doctors. "Personal doctor-patient contact continues to be the gold standard of medical practice," he said.
Congratulations from politics came promptly: "A good decision! Patients are spared unnecessary ways and waiting times. And doctors can actively shape the digital world instead of others doing it, "commented Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn in a Tweet to the BÄK immediately after the vote. This shows the great public interest in the subject, explained Frank Ulrich Montgomery. Spahn had already announced several times that the restrictive regulations on remote treatment should be put to the test and the application and billability of telemedical services expanded. Intensive discussion led The decision was preceded by an intense and sometimes controversial discussion in which reservations and fears were also raised, for example, about a commercially operated call center medicine or a telemedical primary care. "The remote treatment should be tied to the branch in a practice," demanded Thomas C. Stiller, delegate from Lower Saxony. A motion for a resolution by several members of the Medical Association of Lower Saxony, to integrate the long-term treatment in existing care structures, was adopted by a large majority.
Likewise, delegates voted that remote medical treatment in the medical sector should only be carried out by contract doctors as part of a seizure mandate, so that capital-oriented companies do not compete with contract doctors "or even get operator facilities for medical care centers," says a resolution of the medical parliament. Regulation and referral need further debate Many delegates are still skeptical about issuing medical prescriptions for medications and referrals without personal doctor-patient contact. A majority of MEPs initially rejected this option by a majority (resolution IV-03). Regulations and incapacity certificates are not in the regulatory competence of the medical day, said Thomas Schang, Schleswig-Holstein. This is a matter for the legislature. Remote treatment without the possibility of therapy is "a role backwards", however, justified Andreas Botzlar, Bavaria, his request for a re-reading of the application in question. In Baden-Wuerttemberg, model projects are working "hard" to enable prescriptions for a telemedicine first contact online. The Ministry of Social Affairs has already given the green light. By 117 votes to 91, the motion for a resolution in second reading was finally referred to the Bureau. By contrast, delegates rejected the issue of a sick leave by telephone or videoconference with unknown persons. Asked State Medical Chambers As a next step, the regional medical associations must now incorporate this regulation of MBO physicians into their legally binding occupational codes. In addition, Mischo had announced that a revision of the professional code on telemedicine would set up a project group to handle the many unanswered questions regarding organization, implementation and legal framework conditions. This concerns, for example, questions about quality assurance, documentation and education, data protection and data security as well as billing. The work of the project group should provide the regional medical associations and individual physicians with a basis for legally compliant design. Source aerzteblatt.de