Economic Impact of the Introduction of Outpatient Medical Specialist Care (ASV) of Gastrointestinal Cancer Patients from a German Hospital Management Perspective

Oncol Res Treat. 2020;43(10):498-505. doi: 10.1159/000509618. Epub 2020 Sep 21.


Introduction: The treatment of cancer patients in Germany is characterized by sectoral separation of the in- and outpatient care accompanied by 2 separate reimbursement systems. By introducing the Guideline of Outpatient Medical Specialist Care in accordance with §116b SGB V (ASV) in 2014, the German legislation empowers office-based physicians and hospitals to jointly provide medical care in the ambulatory setting.

Methods: A 1-year period each before and after the introduction of ASV was compared by means of data from the Center for Integrated Oncology Cologne at the University Hospital of Cologne. Only adults with a reliable diagnosis of gastrointestinal tumor (GIT) were considered.

Results: Overall, 1,872 cases were considered in the analysis showing significant (p < 0.001) higher median values of revenues across ICD-subgroups for ASV (EUR 427.46) compared to Ambulatory Treatments in Hospitals (EUR 234.21). The exemplary analysis of revenues in neoplasms of the pancreas shows EUR 173.69 on average which are only invoiceable through ASV: flat rate incl. surcharges (EUR 117.79; 68%), structure lump sum (EUR 29.49; 17%), positron-emission tomography (PET)/CT (EUR 13.53; 18%), and ASV consultation hour (EUR 12.89; 7%).

Discussion/conclusion: ASV leads to significant higher revenues across different ICD-subgroups for patients suffering from severe GIT. The collaboration of hospital and office-based physicians ensures patient-centered care with accumulated expertise and avoidance of double examinations. Thus, the inclusion of additional services in the Uniform Value Scale (invoiceable for ASV) is legitimated and enables cost-covering care for the involved parties.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal cancer; Germany; Hospital management; Outpatient medical specialist care; Reimbursement.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care / economics*
  • Female
  • Financial Management, Hospital
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / economics*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Germany
  • Health Care Costs
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms
  • Retrospective Studies