Poor patient advice from doctors


Affected people seek advice from the "Independent Patient Advice Center Germany"

Bad advice, too high bills, a denied insight into the medical file or the fear of one's own existence, because suddenly sickness benefit is no longer paid - between April 2012 and March 2013, more than 14,500 patients attended the "Independent Patient Advice Service Germany" (UPD) Complaint submitted, according to the organization, around 75,000 counseling interviews were held. Now, for the first time, the UPD has systematically evaluated all of these discussions and, by publishing the results in the "Monitor Patient Counseling", has highlighted grievances that apparently affect thousands of patients.

The case of Maria K .: Praxis does not hand over medical records
Maria K., 56, suffers from diabetes, severe overweight and high blood pressure. Since her family doctor suddenly prescribes a new drug, she is confused and asks the reason - but does not get a plausible medical reason, but only an indication of the doctor's limited budget. The doctor ends the conversation with the instruction that Ms. K. should "just leave out her cookies and take them off", because then no medication would be necessary. Hurt by this reaction, Ms. K. changes her family doctor - also because her health insurance company has explained that the doctor should have continued to prescribe the medication. Since she does not want to go through all the examinations again, she asks the previous doctor for a copy of her medical record, but since the copy is not given to her despite repeated reminders, she turns to the UPD for help.

"Monitor Patient Advice" shows "concerns and needs of those seeking advice"
In the case of Maria K., the UPD exemplarily shows the problems of the patients in its current report - because for the first time, the organization systematically evaluated all 75,068 conversations that were held between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013 and the results published in the "Monitor Patient Advice": This "gives an impression of the concerns, concerns and needs of those seeking advice and shows where patients encounter obstacles and resistance on their way through our health system", said the UPD.

UPD for many affected people who are the "last (trust) instance"
Even if the data collected according to UPD managing director Dr. Sebastian Schmidt-Kaehler were not representative, they would nevertheless provide "important and serious evidence and pointers to possible problems that should be pursued by politics and science". For many affected people, the UPD is the "last resort" after a long journey through institutions and institutions, according to the UPD - because a central problem is generally that patients do not know enough about their rights: "In counseling we see that many patients do not know their rights, let alone demand […] nor are they always met at eye level in the medical industry and many people seeking advice do not trust themselves to deal confidently with doctors or health insurers - they simply believe that they are Patients have no chance, ”said Schmidt-Kaehler in a recent UPD press release.

Patients are often "incomplete, contradictory, or misinformed"
According to the report, according to the report, it was obvious to the UPD consultants in around 7,340 cases that the patients were "incomplete, contradictory or incorrectly informed", and in 4,900 cases "problems in the area of ​​access to care" were also found, whereby mostly there was a reasonable assumption that "care services were unjustifiably refused by service providers or payers." According to the UPD report, the consultants had also recorded indications of a "poor quality of care" in 4143 other cases.

UPD identifies five focus areas of advice Through evaluating the interviews, the experts were able to identify five focus areas of advice, which apparently had a particularly high relevance for the patient, whereby the topic of “patient rights” came first - here alone, there were more than between April 2012 and March 2013 10,000 consultations were given, "particularly often [...] about the right to inspect medical records, followed by consultations on inappropriate behavior by healthcare professionals and on the granting of necessary treatments", according to the information in the "Patient Counseling Monitor".

Common topics: treatment errors and dental treatments
In addition to this, according to the UPD, the suspicion of treatment errors was a frequent topic in the counseling interviews (6,781 interviews), which occurred "particularly often in treatments and interventions in the area of ​​arthrosis of the hip and knee joints as well as in the context of dental treatment", so the "Monitor Patient Advice".
Inquiries about dental health and dental treatment were also a frequent topic with more than 5,000 interviews. According to the UPD, the interviews were "in addition to questions about treatment errors and patient rights, above all about costs and checking the legality of monetary claims in the context of dental care. "

Sickness benefit raises many questions among those affected
Mental illnesses were also often the reason for a counseling interview (2,184 counseling contacts), with the focus mostly on counseling with regard to sick pay and outpatient psychotherapeutic treatment.According to the UPD, questions about paying sick pay (e.g. eligibility requirements, opportunities and prospects of success) were also raised to enforce these claims or socio-medical examinations) was apparently a central issue for the patients and "was conspicuously discussed with 4,761 consultations."

Positive feedback from patient representative Wolfgang Zöller
Now the UPD has handed over its report to the patient representative of the Federal Government Wolfgang Zöller - and at the same time received very positive feedback: "The report is an excellent basis for patient-oriented quality assurance measures for health insurance companies and the medical profession", said Zöller according to the UPD press release - and is therefore suitable Optimal view of the patient representative in order to put the rights of the patients in the center of attention again: “I can only recommend to understand him as such and to critically question his own work on the points raised. Of course, I will also carry the information in the report into politics so that legislative consequences can be drawn if necessary - for the benefit of the patient. "(Nr)

Photo credit: Aka / pixelio.de

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