In all health care systems exists governmental regulation, as the market for health is unanimously regarded as imperfect. The German health care market is a good example for a strongly regulated market in nearly each submarket, partially the determination of prices. Reimbursement of health goods and services is overwhelmingly collectively contracted between the health insurers and healthcare providers. In this article, we begin with the description of central functions of prices in the health care sector and components of reimbursement systems. After the general thoughts follows an overview of the concrete reimbursement reality in Germany’s ambulatory and stationary care. We identify and discuss pro and contra the trend towards single prices for identical health services in all of Germany. Another, in someway opposite, trend is less collective bargaining between health insurers and associations of health providers, which gets increasingly substituted with selective contracting. Another issue we cover is the relationship between price competition and quality competition.
Journal of Economics and Statistics is a scientific journal published in Germany since 1863. The Journal publishes papers in all fields of economics and applied statistics. A specific focus is on papers combining theory with empirical analyses.