'Individualised' healthcare services

Germans want it and are prepared to pay

Germans want a different healthcare system. 93% want individualised services — and they are prepared to pay for them, according to a study relating to the strategies of providers in Germany's healthcare system and their acceptance by the public.

The study, which involved a survey of 1,000 adults and was carried out by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, concludes: ‘Germans have switched from service recipients to active customers. Health insurance companies, doctors and hospitals are expanding their range of products and services, such as additional services for self-pay patients or preventative measures.’
‘People want a different healthcare offering,’ said Joachim Kartte, Head Partner of the Pharma & Healthcare Practice at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. ‘They are already prepared for the new world of healthcare.’
Many people would welcome totally new services, such as lifelong healthcare consulting, the consultancy added. ‘The majority would also be willing to convert their homes into healthcare centres. This means recording medical data, such as blood pressure or weight, at home and passing this on to a control station, without visiting a doctor. Nevertheless, the key contact remains your GP. He or she has proven credibility that goes well beyond simple medical care,’ said Karsten Neumann, co-author of the study and Principal in Roland Berger’s Pharma & Healthcare Competence Centre.
Many Germans could also envisage their doctor’s office providing sports advice or nutrition consulting. However, practically no-one would like to forego their freedom in choice of doctor. By contrast, the study found that 60% would accept restrictions on which providers they can use for medication if this leads to lower costs.
Freedom of choice
Most people with health insurance want to decide for themselves which services they can use. ‘93% would turn down a standard offer from their insurer and choose a different plan – if they could!’ Joachim Kartte exclaimed. Conceivable are multi-step models that range from basic (at low costs) to premium healthcare with additional services that can be individually selected, but that are also more expensive. However, seeing that many people would refrain from – in their view – unnecessary services, contributions would drop. ‘At any rate, Germans are willing for pay more for better services,’ the consultancy concludes.

21.11.2008

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