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Barmer GEK publishes hospital report

Barmer GEK publishes hospital report

Hospital Report 2013: Number of inpatient treatments for colorectal cancer declining

Hospital stays in 2012 were characterized by a decrease in the length of stay in the clinics but also by the unchanged high number of treatments. This was the result of the hospital report by the health insurance company Barmer GEK. A positive development can be seen in the treatment of colorectal cancer, which was the focus of the report. The number of colorectal cancer patients receiving inpatient therapy fell by around 21 percent between 2005 and 2012.

Hospital report shows decrease in length of stay in inpatient hospital stays “A trend that has been observed since the nineties continues unabated. In 2012, stays in the hospital were on average shorter than in the previous year, "explains Prof. Dr. Eva Maria Bitzer from the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health System Research (ISEG), who played a key role in the preparation of the hospital report with her team of authors In 1992 there were still more than 13 days, the average length of hospital stay dropped to 8.3 days in 2012. The shorter duration of treatment for circulatory diseases is the main reason for the decrease in the length of stay in hospitals, the report says The duration of treatment was reduced by 44 percent in 2012. In contrast, the length of stay in hospital due to mental illness increased by 67 percent (assuming an unchanged gender and age structure).

There were hardly any changes in the frequency of treatment compared to previous years. However, both effects caused the total length of stay to decrease slightly.

Dr. Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker calls for reform in the area of ​​hospitals. “We have to get the quantity problem under control by preventing the medically not absolutely necessary treatments. We also want to promote quality assurance in hospitals and find a solution for the federal states to withdraw more and more from financing hospital investments, ”explains the deputy chairman of the Barmer GEK. In view of the upcoming election to the Bundestag, the health fund wishes the new politically responsible people more freedom for patient-oriented care. These include the possibility of conducting direct negotiations with clinics about services that can be planned, the expansion of integrated care models to network outpatient and inpatient care, and the creation of incentives for quality-assured care offers.

According to the hospital report, significantly fewer hospital stays due to colon cancer Colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Germany with around 69,000 new cases every year. The chances of recovery depend largely on how early the cancer is recognized and treated. One year after initial inpatient treatment, around 20 percent of the patients died; five years after the hospital stay, the figure was around 45 percent.

As the Barmer GEK reports, the number of inpatient treatments for colorectal cancer decreased by 21 percent from 2005 to 2012. According to the report, the number of chemotherapy and radiation treatments is also declining and is increasingly being carried out by resident specialists. "This encouraging development leads to the conclusion that with the help of targeted preventive measures, colon cancer is recognized so early today that it rarely has to be treated in hospital," said Schlenker. Further measures for colorectal cancer prevention are planned. "Actually, it is planned to be routine in 2017 The Barmer GEK will probably do this earlier, we want to try out an individualized invitation procedure in Bavaria, "reports Schlenker.

At the same time, the number of more gentle laparoscopic operations has increased significantly from five to 15 percent in the past seven years. The case costs have also increased. "The cost per person affected for the treatment of colorectal cancer in hospitals rose by 21 percent between 2005 and 2012, from an average of 9,316 to 11,314 euros," explains Bitzer.

This year's hospital report also includes a survey of around 800 patients who were treated for colon cancer last year. Approximately one third (34.8 percent) experienced complications with the therapy. Most of them had wound healing disorders (15.1 percent), followed by bowel obstruction (3.9 percent). In addition, many sufferers suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms as well as tiredness and sleep disorders one year after their stay in the clinic. Many patients also experience shame and social restrictions due to bowel surgery. (ag)

Photo credit: Rainer Sturm / pixelio.de

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