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Disease Management Programs in Germany’s Statutory Health Insurance System - A Gordian Solution to the Adverse Selection of Chronically Ill in Competitive Markets?

Busse R
Health Affairs 23(3): 56-67


The introduction in 1996 of free choice among sickness funds in Germany was accompanied by a “risk structure compensation” (RSC) mechanism based on average spending by age and sex. Because chronically ill people were not adequately taken into account, competition for newly insured consumers concentrated on the healthy. The introduction in 2002 of disease management programs addresses this problem: Insured people in such programs are treated as a separate RSC category, making them a more “attractive” group that no longer generates a deficit. The degree of sickness fund activities and the fierce dispute with physicians are valid indicators that the incentives work.

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