German doctors cashing in on the dead:
This article was originally published in Clinica
Germany's doctors have come under fire again for improper accounting. The regional subsidiary of the largest statutory health insurance fund, the AOK Niedersachsen, uncovered 140 cases in the last quarter of 2001 alone, in which doctors claimed treatment fees for dead patients. In one case a doctor in Wilhelmshaven claimed on behalf of 11 deceased patients. "On a national scale, we are talking about several thousand dead people, from whom doctors are profiting," Klaus Altmann, spokesperson for the AOK Niedersachsen, told NRD-Magazin Panorama. Federal health minister Ulla Schmidt said that she had contacted the federal association of statutory health insurance physicians in December concerning false accounting, but had received no reply. She added that such cases would cost the health service an extra E1bn ($1.1bn).