UPD Foundation resumes work

Photo of author
Written By Kampretz Bianca

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur pulvinar ligula augue quis venenatis. 

com com com com com com com

Federal Government patient representative Stefan Schwartze (center right) and new board member of the UPD Foundation Sven Arndt announced the start of consultations today. /Screenshot DÄ

Berlin – After numerous problems with the creation of the Independent Patient Counseling Foundation (UPD) and the demise of the former UPD gGmbH, patients now have a place to go again. Federal patient representative Stefan Schwartze said: “Today we are closing a supply gap of almost six months.”

However, supply will continue to be significantly reduced in the future. Initially, the UPD should only be answered by telephone (0800/0117722) during limited hours (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, from 9:30 am to 12 pm and from 3 pm to 5 pm, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9:30 am to 2 pm), according to Schwartze and the recent -appointed board member of the UPD foundation, Sven Arndt, in Berlin, they emphasized.

40 experts from medicine, dentistry, psychology, law and other disciplines provide telephone consultation. The foundation initially handles around 100 consultations per day.

Counseling capabilities are expected to be expanded in the coming months and a network of regional counseling centers will be created. In-person counseling, chat or other written formats should subsequently complement telephone counseling. There will initially be 16 regional counseling centers, Arndt said. He hopes there are more. Local partners are now being sought.

Arndt, an administrative specialist born in 1968, was most recently Managing Director of Berghof Foundation Operations gGmbH. Previously, he was head of administration at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Science and Policy Foundation (SWP). Arndt is one of two board members. A woman is being sought for the second board of directors, but the choice has not yet been made.

The national independent patient advice service, founded in 2000 as a model project, aims to advise citizens on health issues, health law and social law – independently, neutrally, quality assured, understandable and free of charge. In 2022, around 123,000 people seeking advice turned to the organization.

There was a year-long dispute over ownership. A non-profit foundation is now taking control of the institution. The legislator has to National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV) is obliged to create the foundation and finance it, but without being able to influence the consultancy activities.

The National Association of Mandatory Health Insurance Funds finances the foundation with 15 million euros per year. Schwartze said the private health insurance association has agreed to join the foundation and that seven to eight percent of the foundation’s funds would be allocated depending on its share of policyholders.

The management board includes representatives from ministries, members of the Bundestag, as well as representatives from statutory and private health insurance companies and patient organizations. The president is the patient representative of the federal government.

Initially, patient counseling was operated by the social association VdK Germany, the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations and the Association for Independent Patient Counseling as shareholders. In 2015, commercial healthcare provider and call center operator Sanvartis was hired to take on responsibility. Since then, criticism of the councils and possible conflicts of interest has grown.

In 2023, the traffic light coalition in the Bundestag passed a law with which the UPD sponsorship was to be converted into a foundation from 2024. The central point of contention was the influence of the health insurance companies: patient associations and health advocates. Consumers criticized the fact that the Federal Minister of Health wanted to give them a key role because conflicts between patients and health insurance companies constitute a large part of patient advice. .

There are still doubts as to whether the creation of the foundation and the dissolution of the former UPD gGmbH constitute a transfer of operations within the meaning of labor law. This is why more than 70 actions are being processed in the Labor Court. 29 are directed against the new UPD Foundation. The former employees are suing to continue their employment.

However, the UPD and the patients’ representative assume that there was no transfer of operations to the foundation. But how the Labor Court will decide will only become clear during court dates scheduled for May to November. © kna/dpa/bee/may/aerzteblatt.de

Source link

Leave a Comment