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The National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians and the regional Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians

Short distances, a wide range of services, and high standards: Whoever needs a doctor in Germany is in good hands. The Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenärztliche Vereinigungen; ASHIPs) make sure that 72 million compulsorily insured people can consult a physician or a psychotherapist of their own choice at any time and anywhere in the country. ASHIPs guarantee high quality of medical care. They make medical services available and improve them continuously. ASHIPs represent about 165 000 doctors and psychotherapists and lobby for keeping up and improving the medical system with its top quality. They believe that all patients should profit from medical progress even if the resources of the health insurance funds are rather limited.

On the federal level the 17 ASHIPs have established the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung; NASHIP). All ASHIPs and the NASHIP are part of the medical self-government. They are bodies under public law. The NASHIP represents the political interests of all office-based physicians and psychotherapists and informs the public on its health policy. It advocates the doctors’ positions in legislative processes, keeps the federal registry of physicians, and concludes contracts with the national confederations of the health insurance funds and other parties of the health care sector. Together with the health insurance funds it devises and revises the office-based doctors’ fee schedule, the so-called Uniform Assessment Standard. As a member of the Federal Joint Committee it is also one of the organizations that determine the benefits catalogue.

The NASHIP is legally obliged to have two organs: a delegates’ meeting and a board of directors. The delegates’ meeting consists of 60 representatives of the regional ASHIPs. Its main function is to make decisions on fundamental issues, guidelines, and regulations within the responsibility of the NASHIP. Every six years the delegates’ meeting elects a board of directors consisting of two members. The present chairman is MD Andreas Gassen. He is also responsible for care provided by medical specialists. Regina Feldmann, the other member of the NASHIP board, is responsible for services provided by general practitioners. About 230 people work for the organization.

The establishment of ASHIPs goes back to 1931, when Heinrich Brüning, then Chancellor of the Republic, issued an emergency decree. It was meant to settle disputes between doctors and health insurance funds. It resulted in the abolition of individual contracts and paved the way for the establishment of regional ASHIPs.

Any more questions?

Do not hesitate to contact us:

Dr. Roland Stahl, head of communications: +49 30 4005-2201
Tanja Hinzmann, press officer, +49 30 4005-2240

Fax: +49 30 4005-2290
E-mail: presse@kbv.de

While most of our material is available in German only, we invite you visit our English/German, German/English dictionary Ärztliche Wortwahl – The Doctor's Choice of Words. It contains a glossary of technical terms for the health care sector.