Germany plans stricter controls in COVID test centers – draft


General view of the street “Große Bergstraße” during a road closure in Hamburg, May 11, 2021. REUTERS / Fabian Bimmer / File Photo

The Federal Ministry of Health wants to fight fraud in test centers by taking samples and reducing reimbursement according to media reports about overbilling of some providers.

It plans to reduce the amount it reimburses per test from 18 euros to 12.50 euros ($ 15.20), including 8 euros for performing the tests and 4.50 euros for the material, according to one Draft new audit law circulated on Thursday that will now be approved by other departments.

In addition, private testing centers are only approved for quality assurance in individual cases, while the health insurance companies are obliged to check the billing for plausibility and to check it on a random basis.

Tests are central to Germany’s strategy to contain coronavirus infections. As the economy gradually reopened this spring, a negative test no older than 24 hours was required to dine in restaurants, sit in cafes, or shop in non-essential stores.

Since March 1st, Germans have been entitled to at least one free test per week, which has resulted in test centers in bars, kiosks, art galleries and even pole dance clubs being set up in an unusually unbureaucratic way, as business owners saw an income opportunity. Continue reading

However, some centers have billed more testing than they did, German media reported last month, and the government promised to tighten restrictions on fraud prevention. Continue reading

Germany reported an increase in coronavirus cases by 3,187 to a total of 3,709,129 on Thursday, as data from the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases showed. The seven-day virus incidence fell below 20 cases per 100,000.

($ 1 = 0.8217 euros)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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