New IGeL guide for patients

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New guide to additional medical services

Doctors often offer their patients so-called IgeL services. These are diagnostic and health services that are not listed in the health insurance benefits catalog and must therefore be paid out of one's own pocket. A new brochure by the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection on the topic of "Individual health services" is intended to provide patients with more clarity. It encourages you to ask the doctor treating you critically and "get detailed advice". The brochure should make it clear to patients that the additional health services are lucrative additional earnings for the practice.

Ask critically about individual health services
If a doctor offers additional treatment, which is subject to a charge, patients should not react passively and should follow up aggressively. Not all IGEL services really make sense or barely deliver what they promise. A critical question could be: "Why doesn't the health insurance company pay for the examination if it is absolutely necessary?". This is pointed out by the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection in a new brochure "Individual health services (hedgehog). Accordingly, patients should not be satisfied with simple information from the consultation aids, but should request a personal consultation with the doctor.

Leave time with the approval or rejection
No hedgehog performance should be rashly accepted. Doctors' offices improve their economic situation through the offers. This turns the patient and potential buyer and the doctor into a seller. If such a service is offered, you should always take a time to consider it. This can be used, for example, to obtain independent information about the meaning and nonsense of the treatment. The statutory health insurance companies, which have set up a “hedgehog monitor”, also offer help. This indicates whether, based on scientific knowledge, therapy could be useful.

Examinations for early detection and travel vaccinations are also offered under the title "IgeL" therapies, the benefits and meaning of which have not been adequately researched or medically / scientifically proven. Therefore, such treatments can even have a negative effect and pose a health risk. (sb)

Also read:
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Which IGeL services really make sense
IGeL services at the doctor are often unnecessary
Health insurance companies want to restrict additional services
Doctors are selling more and more additional services
Doctors as sellers of additional services
Doctor's appointments: health insurance patients are disadvantaged
Hardly any useful additional services at the doctor

Image: Andrea Damm /

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