Trial phase gets the “green light”

On 8th April, Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe, meeting with the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV) at the Federal Ministry of Health’s Berlin Office, agreed to the conduct of two pilot projects. They will serve to scientifically test and review a new assessment method that is to be put in place as the new definition of long-term care needs is introduced in this legislative period.

Commenting on this, Hermann Gröhe said: ”Enhancing long-term care is high on the Federal Government’s agenda. Therefore, we will be making definite improvements in the benefits for persons with care needs and their relatives as early as 1st January 2015.Today, I have given the National Association of Long-term Care Funds the “green light” for the trial phase, in preparation for the full implementation of the new definition of long-term care needs. This will serve to en-sure that the improvements effectively reach persons with care needs.”

New scheme to consist of five long-term care grades

The Expert advisory board on the formulation of a new definition of long-term care needs had submitted its report on 27th June 2013. It recommends that the current system of three care lev-els be replaced by five care grades. The new system is better tailored to reflect the individual needs profile of each care recipient. In addition to physical impairments, it will also consider impairments that, for example, frequently affect dementia patients.

Field test

Now, the new assessment method is to be piloted in two projects to check whether it is effective and fit for everyday use. The first step towards this end will be to train assessors working with the medical review board of the statutory health insurance (MDK). Starting in summer 2014, they will complete a total of approx. 4,000 assessments across all of the Federal Laender.

Outlook

The assessment results are due to be available in early 2015. Based on these results, the legis-lative work to introduce the new definition of long-term care needs will begin. The new definition of long-term care needs is to be introduced before the end of this legislative period.