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German health funds' profits cheers minister:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Germany's statutory health insurance funds made profits of Euros2.4bn ($2.9bn) in the first half of 2004, against a deficit of almost Euros2bn for the same period last year. Health minister Ulla Schmidt said the turnaround showed that her health reform law is having the desired effect. Compared with the same period last year, expenditure on medical technical aids fell by Euros340m. This is in part due to the imposition of co-payments in this sector and expenditure is likely to fall further following legislation due soon that would allow funds to negotiate contracts and then reimburse products from only those manufacturers and distributors whose prices fall within the lowest third price bracket.

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