Towards a More Market Based Approach: The Institutional Framework for Quality Assurance in Germany
22 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2007 Last revised: 4 Aug 2008
Date Written: February 2008
Like in most industrialized countries, Germany's health care system is facing two major challenges. The first is to find a sustainable financing system for the increasing health care expenditure. The second is to ensure - and improve - the quality of care provided.
This paper describes the status quo in quality assurance in Germany and analyses the changes introduced into the SHI (Statutory Health Insurance) system with the Modernization Act of 2004. This paper first outlines a theoretical framework for quality assurance consistent with the logic of the German Social Market Economy. The analysis then describes new actors and their duties in the field of quality assurance, also showing improvements in the area of regulations and instruments applied. Although the strategy for quality assurance is still dominated by regulation and corporatist bodies, the latest reform acts of 2004 and 2007 focus on more and better information about quality provided - an important prerequisite for more competitive elements in the German health care system.
Keywords: Quality of care, Institutions, Health Policy
JEL Classification: I18, I11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation