Key aspects of a sustainable health insurance system in Germany

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Background: The main goals of health-care systems are to improve the health of the population they serve, respond to people’s legitimate expectations, and offer fair financing. As a result, the health system in Germany is subject to continuous adaption as well as public and political discussions about its design. Objective: This paper analyzes the key challenges for the German health-care system and the underlying factors driving these challenges. We aim to identify possible solutions to put the German health-care system in a better position to face these challenges. Methods: We utilize a broad array of methods to answer these questions, including a review of the published and grey literature on health-care planning in Germany, semi-structured interviews with stakeholders in the system, and an online questionnaire. Results: We find that the most urgent (and manageable) aspects that merit attention are holistic hospital planning, initiatives to increase (administrative) innovation in the health-care system, incentives to increase prevention, and approaches to increase analytical quality assurance. Conclusion: We found that hospital planning, innovation, quality control, and prevention, are considered to be the topics most in need of attention in the German health system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Health Economics and Health Policy
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)293-312
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 01.06.2016