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Global Economy

Self-employed carers undesirable?

Without the freelance carer Kurt Krimmer, Erika Burkhardt would have no one to take care of her. The 89-year-old lives in the countryside of Baden-Württemberg and has long been looking for someone who will reliably come every day and help her with personal hygiene. Several nursing services had canceled the 89-year-old after a few visits. The patient is too time-consuming for them.

Despite his commitment, Krimmer had to wait seven months for his bills to be paid by the AOK. And then came the next setback.

Health insurance companies often get in the way

According to the AOK care contract, he is said to be only allowed to take on three patients – no matter how high the effort or level of care is for the others. Mrs. Burkhard would be his fourth patient.

Neither the nurse Krimmer nor the health insurance company AOK are isolated cases. Other health insurance companies have also been refusing a contractual arrangement with highly qualified nursing staff for months. Often they have to sue for a local payment before the social court.

Caregivers have no lobby

Andreas Teubner from the Faculty of Health and Nursing Sciences at the West Saxon University of Applied Sciences in Zwickau sees the legislator as having a duty here. Framework contracts with self-employed nursing staff, says Teubner in the ARD business magazine plusminus, do not exist because the legislator has not provided for them anywhere.

"There is the possibility that the health insurance companies and the long-term care insurance companies use such individual carers. But the legislator has not provided for any regulations on this." Self-employed nurses have no lobby in Germany – and they don't seem to fit into the standard system of health and nursing care insurance companies.

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