The Bavarian Hospital Society reports complaints from clinics and inexplicable false statements.

According to hospital authorities, the Federal Hospital Atlas presented by Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach apparently contains numerous false and misleading information. “During the first test clicks shortly after the portal was activated, we came across some implausible information that we cannot explain,” said the managing director of the Bavarian Hospital Society Roland Engehausen to the “Augsburger Allgemeine”: “And we don’t just hear from hospitals either Bavaria from similar cases,” he explained.

The newspaper also reports on a smaller Bavarian clinic that specializes in breast cancer treatment, for which the portal only states ten operations, although it carried out over 100 during the period mentioned. While the clinic achieves very good quality and recommendation rates from patients in the AOK health navigator with the correct number of treatments, the state information portal gives the impression of a lack of experience.

“Apparently there are errors within the Federal Hospital Atlas system to correctly add up the data from the hospitals, because the case numbers are all officially available,” explained Managing Director Engehausen. However, the data analysis of around 17 million treatment cases in German clinics is a complex system. Engehausen criticized the fact that the internet portal had gone live without the possibility of checking the clinic website beforehand. “Unfortunately, the hospitals had no chance to test the Federal Hospital Atlas beforehand,” he emphasized.

This is obviously due to the dispute between Lauterbach and the federal states over hospital reform. “With any other Federal Health Minister, the German Hospital Association could have intensively tested a portal of this magnitude for at least a month for possible errors and ambiguities before it went online,” criticized Engehausen.

Even regardless of the weak points, the start of the new offer was disappointing: “In view of the big announcements, what was presented is surprisingly poor,” explained Engehausen. “Transparency is extremely important, which is why hospitals not only publish thousand-page quality reports, but also operate them “We have a separate information portal for the general public,” he emphasized, referring to the German hospital directory, which also contains information on complication rates.

After the launch of the Federal Hospital Atlas, criticism also came from the Union. “Once again, Karl Lauterbach is causing confusion and uncertainty about the hospital reform as a whole,” said CDU health expert Tino Sorge to the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. “The way and especially the timing in which the clinical atlas is now being launched is absolutely unsuitable for creating trust,” he criticized. Even regardless of possible errors, the portal is a disappointment from the patient’s perspective: “What Karl Lauterbach is now publishing is largely nothing new,” said Sorge. The information presented is significantly behind information offered by the German Hospital Association or various health insurance companies. “Complication rates and many other data are also listed there,” explained the CDU politician.

In terms of health policy, the federal government’s internet offering is even questionable: “The hospital atlas could have significant distorting effects: hospitals that treat a particularly large number of serious cases perform worse in terms of the complication rate – although they are not of lower quality, but may simply operate on a particularly large number of very elderly and high-risk patients,” said the CDU health expert. “In the future, this could even lead to risky procedures being rejected in some hospitals – for fear of complications and poor rankings.”

The Bavarian CSU parliamentary group leader Klaus Holetschek also accused the Federal Health Minister of questionable behavior: “Karl Lauterbach’s clinical atlas is of inferior quality and a waste of tax money,” the former Bavarian Health Minister told the newspaper. “It is confusing for patients and does not bring any added value because the data has long been available elsewhere,” criticized Holetschek. “The Federal Minister of Health would have done well to instead put the long-promised impact analysis of his hospital reform on the table to show what this means, especially for rural areas,” emphasized the CSU politician.