DÄ internationalArchive11/2010Joint Federal Committee
LNSLNS In his article, Professor Suckfüll refers to a publication from the German Association of Otorhinolaryngologists (Deutscher Berufsverband der Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Fachärzte) which purportedly advises to bill for the treatment of hearing loss as an individual health service.

This is correct, but the reasons for this practice are given by a decision of the joint federal committee.

The drug guideline in force on 1 April 2009 defines that medications previously used to treat sudden hearing loss cannot be prescribed as a service covered by the insurers, nor do they meet the cost-benefit criteria.

Professor Suckfüll explains the therapeutic options in great detail. For otorhinolaryngologists in private practice a further prescription of these medications would inevitably have economic consequences.

For this reason the the professional association—supported by the Federal Association of Physicians who treat members of statutory medical insurance schemes—advises billing for such medications as individual services.

This highlights once more the fact that the therapeutic independence of physicians in private practice within the context of the statutory health insurance is limited by legal guidelines and that the scarcity of resources is not openly addressed. Ultimately it is the patient who remains the victim in all of this.
DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2010.0196a

Dr. med. Ellen Lundershausen
Vizepräsidentin
Deutscher Berufsverband der Hals-Nasen-Ohrenärzte e. V.
Postfach 1427
24504 Neumünster, Germany
bv@hno-aerzte.de
1.
Suckfüll M: Perspectives on the pathophysiology and treatment of sudden idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss [Hörsturz – Erwägung zur Pathophysiologie und Therapie]. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2009; 106 (41): 669–76. VOLLTEXT
1. Suckfüll M: Perspectives on the pathophysiology and treatment of sudden idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss [Hörsturz – Erwägung zur Pathophysiologie und Therapie]. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2009; 106 (41): 669–76. VOLLTEXT