30.06.2022, Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle (Saale): Nicola Bornkessel, Ärztin der Kassenärztlichen Vereinigung Sachsen-Anhalt, nimmt einen Abstrich bei einer Patientin in der Fieberambulanz in Halle/Saale. Die zentrale Teststation für Covid-19 der Stadt hat an diesem Donnerstag letztmalig geöffnet. Foto: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The panel doctors are threatening to stop billing because of the new regulations for corona citizen tests. In a letter to Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD), the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians and the state associations announced on Thursday that they “will no longer be able to bill and pay out for citizen tests in the future.” The editorial network Germany (RND) first reported on the letter. It is available to the Tagesspiegel Background.

Since Thursday, free tests have only been available for risk groups and other exceptional cases. For tests, for example for family celebrations, concerts or meetings with people over 60, an additional payment of three euros is due. Anyone who wants such a test must sign that it is done for this purpose.

The reason for writing is the new test regulation published on Wednesday. The Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians criticized the fact that they only had four hours and 15 minutes to comment on the new regulations before the new test regulation was published.

The letter said there were no reactions or adjustments on the part of the ministry.

The letter was written by the KBV board members Andreas Gassen, Stephan Hofmeister and Thomas Kriedel.

Gassen called for the corona citizen tests to be stopped completely. “These nonsensical tests must be abolished,” he told the “Bild” newspaper. “They are far too expensive, the bureaucratic effort is huge and the epidemiological significance is zero.”

It was a “completely pointless event to test healthy people with questionable quality without cause,” Gassen continued. PCR tests in patients with symptoms, on the other hand, are important in order to clearly demonstrate corona infections.

As of today, with the withdrawal of the KVs, citizen tests can no longer be billed – most operators should quickly decide not to offer them anymore as long as the BMG does not create new billing options.

A new test regulation would probably be necessary for this. The mood between the KBV and Minister Lauterbach has been extremely tense since the beginning of this week, when the Minister announced cuts in the statutory health insurance system, which will lead to a loss of fees for resident doctors.

According to the new test regulation, citizens must prove that they meet one of the necessary requirements for a corona test. However, the KBV now says: The examination of all these new requirements is “especially not possible” for the KVs.

It cannot be assumed that “only people who meet the eligibility requirements under the new Paragraph 4a TestV are actually tested”.

The KBV criticizes the small-scale eligibility requirements and fears an increase in “non-verifiable false statements”.

The KVs could not be responsible for “making payments on accounts with seeing eyes, the correctness of which they cannot begin to check”. Another point mentioned is the public prosecutor’s investigations against KV Berlin on suspicion of breach of trust in connection with billing in corona test centers.

The test sites would “still not be checked across the board for suitability and reliability,” says the letter to the Minister of Health.

When asked on Thursday evening, the Federal Ministry of Health stated that it was assumed that the associations of statutory health insurance physicians, as public bodies, would continue to fulfill their mandate for billing and random testing of the test centers. “In dialogue, we will discuss with the KVs at short notice how the new rules can be implemented unbureaucratically,” said a spokesman.

The BMG reacted immediately to the letter yesterday with a letter available to the Tagesspiegel. “You are aware,” says the letter to the KBV board members, “that the federal government’s test concept embodied in the test ordinance forms a central and indispensable part of the fight against the pandemic and depends significantly on the participation of the KV system.”