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Initiative for High-Quality Healthcare - Healthcare Fact Check

The over-, under- and misuse of resources in the German healthcare system has been a topic of discussion among experts for years. The Advisory Council on the Assessment of Developments in the Health Care System called attention to the problem as early as 2001, noting that valuable resources are not only used inappropriately and unnecessarily, the regional provision of healthcare services and the range of healthcare options offered also often do not reflect people's needs.

The Initiative for High-Quality Healthcare publicizes concrete examples -- based on hard data -- that document the over-, under- and misuse of resources, as well as inappropriate regional discrepancies. This includes both carrying out research into the underlying causes and identifying possible solutions. Instead of focusing solely on the "inner circle" of health policy makers and healthcare-related specialists, our efforts are also geared toward the general public. Furthermore, our goal is to include in the project as many stakeholders as possible from the German healthcare system.

The first issue of the Initiative's "Healthcare Fact Check", published in September 2011, illustrates 16 different cases of regional variations in healthcare in brief. Ranging from caesarian section to end-of-life care, this report illuminates the bandwidth and magnitude of regional variations in the German health care system. It is available in English at www.faktencheck-gesundheit.de/english-summary/

In the years to come single topic reports published regularly will focus on relevant healthcare issues addressing the range of variations, underlying causes, possible solutions, and providing the public with relevant information and recommendations for action.

English summaries of all topics will be published at the project website. 

Project start date: January 2011



Nothing about me without me!

Bertelsmann Stiftung calls for patients to be given a greater role in medical decisions
It has long been scientifically proven: Patients who are more involved in medical decision-making processes pay more attention to the care they receive -- thereby increasing quality and lowering costs. Yet something that should happen as a matter of course is still the exception all around the globe. That is the conclusion reached by participants at the Salzburg Global Seminar, a gathering organized to examine this issue.


Conference on regional variations in German healthcare planned for September 28, 2011, in Berlin

In the UK, people talk about a "postcode lottery" when discussing geographical differences in healthcare provision. What are other countries’ experiences with unwarranted variation in healthcare and what can Germany do to reduce its own?


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