Patients’ response to acupuncture enormous.

Around 26,000 inhabitants of Baden-Wurttemberg have benefited from the pilot projects of several health insurance companies during the last two years.

Stuttgart (mm). Around 8,000 patients during the last two years – since the start of the pilot project of the TK – Technicians’ Insurance Company – have undergone acupuncture treatment for chronic pain of the lumbar vertebrae.

According to the Charitas University Clinic in Berlin, who looked after the study, the complaints and pain improved in around 90% of the patients. According to the TK, 1,500 doctors took part in the Pilot Project, to which the Bosch BKK (Company Medical Insurance), Daimler-Chrysler BKK and other insurance companies joined in July 2001. The doctors taking part had to prove 140 hours of training and have their credentials examined by the TK. For the total of ten sessions which are each required to last at least 30 minutes, the doctor can charge the patient 35 Euros. The three insurance companies reimburse the patient these costs, withholding 10% Selbstbehalt. Excepted from this rule, are all those insured who are not required to pay their own share of costs.

Apart from chronic pain in the lumbar vertebrae, patients can also have treatment from a qualified acupuncture practitioner for head and joint pain. Around 18,000 patients insured by the TK, Bosch BKK and the Daimler Chrysler BKK have taken advantage of this offer.

With the Pilot Project which lasts until 2008, the effectiveness of acupuncture as a method of treatment is being tested scientifically. If it is proved to be effective, then the three insurance groups hope to recognise acupuncture as a regular benefit of the state insurance companies.

Source: ÄZ Nr. 52, März 2003

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