The awareness that there are differences in quality in healthcare is now widespread in Germany as well. More than half the public assume that these differences are not small, but rather large to very large in scale. This is substantiated by, for example, representative surveys from TNS Emnid on behalf of the Weisse Liste. However, pinning down these differences in quality proves difficult, especially with respect to physicians in private practice: Whereas hospitals have been required by law to provide regular reports on their structure, range of services, and treatment outcomes for over ten years now, there is, as yet, no comparable legal basis for outpatient care in Germany.
The IGES study on public reporting on the quality of physicians in private practice initially investigates which approaches to increase transparency in other countries have already been implemented, or what is specifically planned for this purpose. Denmark, England, the Netherlands, and the United States are closely examined – countries in which the transparency of quality in outpatient care is already more advanced than in Germany. The study shows which approaches and strategies have proven their worth outside of Germany, and what elements of these can be implemented in the German healthcare system. This Spotlight Healthcare presents the key findings of the IGES study and subsequent recommendations on the publication of quality data on physicians in private practice.