In Germany a new reimbursement system for psychiatry and psychosomatics is under development. Based on total costs of each case from selected hospitals and day clinics, in 2013 the Institute for the Hospital Remuneration System (InEK) proposed to reimburse the hospital costs daily with step-wise decreasing remuneration, mainly depending on the ICD-10 diagnosis, duration of stay and some complicating factors (PEPP grouper). It is controversial whether this degressive system will result in an inadequate remuneration of patients with longer duration of severe symptoms, such as suicidality in depression or autoaggressive behavior in borderline personality disorder and will eventually lead to advantages for acutely ill patients with short duration of stay compared to chronically ill patients.
This study formulated and tested an alternative remuneration system (proof of concept) mainly based on an analysis of daily cost data instead of the total costs of each case.
Material and methods
The study is based on 147,749 treatment days from 4,633 cases of patients with psychotic disorders (PEPP-PA03) in 6 hospitals. As possible cost separating factors the study analyzed days with and without intensive psychiatric care, 1 to 1 care, psychological diagnostics, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), acute crisis intervention, age at admission, the first days of treatment and day of discharge.
Results and discussion
Nearly all factors tested were shown to be statistically significant in separating daily hospital costs. Based on these findings an alternative calculation algorithm (TEPPconcret), which grouped the cases with respect to age, intensive care, 1 to 1 care, treatment days 1–4 and day of discharge, was formulated and tested. For psychotic disorders TEPPconcret with a basic rate complemented by daily add-on payments depending on the effort involved, is a serious alternative to the PEPP system and awaits further evaluation.