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Managing Hospital Volumes: Germany and Experiences from OECD Countries

Listed author(s):
  • Ankit Kumar


  • Michael Schoenstein


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    To help inform a conference organised by the Germany Ministry of Health (BMG) and the OECD on ‘Managing Hospital Volumes’ on the 11th April 2013, the OECD Secretariat produced this paper giving an international perspective on Germany’s situation and the current policy debate. It provides a number of observations about the structure and financing of hospitals in Germany. It begins by arguing that Germany has a more open-ended approach to the financing of hospital services and weaker controls over the hospital budget than in many other OECD countries. In large part this reflects that DRGs in Germany are almost strictly used for pricing, whereas other countries use DRGs as one of many tools they have to influence hospital budgets. This is compounded by a situation where State governments do not have an incentive to rationalise hospital capacity where this may be desirable. Finally, the paper argues that the vast array of quality information available in Germany ought to be used to better direct financing. Afin d’apporter des informations à l’appui de la conférence organisée le 11 avril 2013 par le ministère allemand de la Santé (BMG) et l’OCDE sur le thème de la « Gestion des volumes d’activité des hôpitaux », le Secrétariat de l’OCDE a élaboré ce document, qui permet d’aborder la situation de l’Allemagne et le débat en cours selon une perspective internationale. Ce texte livre un certain nombre d’observations concernant la structure et le financement des hôpitaux allemands. Il montre dans un premier temps que l’Allemagne a du financement des services hospitaliers une approche plus ouverte que de nombreux autres pays de l’OCDE, et que le budget des hôpitaux y est plus faiblement contrôlé. Cela tient en grande partie au fait que la tarification des services hospitaliers repose en Allemagne presque exclusivement sur les groupes homogènes de malades (GHM), alors que d’autres pays s’en servent plutôt – avec un grand nombre d’autres outils – pour contrôler le budget des hôpitaux. Cette situation est renforcée par le fait que les autorités des Länder ne sont pas incitées à rationaliser la capacité du secteur hospitalier, alors que cela pourrait être souhaitable. Enfin, le document fait valoir que les nombreuses informations disponibles en Allemagne sur la qualité des soins devraient contribuer à une meilleure affectation des financements.

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Health Working Papers with number 64.

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    Date of creation: 11 Oct 2013
    Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaad:64-en
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