Federal Government promotes IGeL sales training for physicians

Monday, 30.07.12 , written by Cornelia Teich The Federal Ministry of Economics seems to subsidize sales training where physicians can learn how to sell unnecessary treatments to their patients. The Berliner Zeitung reports that the medical profession is paying off with the so-called IGeL benefits. >

Bundesregierung fördert IGeL-Verkaufstraining für Ärzte


According to a report by the Berliner Zeitung, the Federal Government subsidizes marketing seminars in which physicians are taught how to better sell individual health services (IGeL) to health insurance patients. The Federal Ministry of Economics admitted to the newspaper that such and similar “measures of sales optimization” would be subsidized by taxpayers’ money. The individual health services are controversial from a medical point of view. Since they are predominantly considered unnecessary, pay the statutory health insurance for it. Nonetheless, doctors can make good money by turning on self-pay benefits for their patients.

Individual practice coaching for physicians

In the seminars, doctors get to know “simple and unobtrusive phrasing” in order to convince patients to talk about an IGeL offer, the Berliner Zeitung quotes the advertisement of a seminar provider. With a government subsidy of up to 3,000 euros expected physicians who take advantage of such a sales training. In the seminar, the doctors then learn how best to respond to the objections of their patients. A seminar provider advertises on the Internet that participants can earn up to 70,000 euros additional, after they have visited the individual practice coaching. According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, such training would be subsidized by a directive on the “promotion of entrepreneurial know-how” for small and medium-sized enterprises as well as liberal professions, including physicians.

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IGeL investigations with false findings

The IGeL offers, with the sale doctors can apparently earn a lot of money, are criticized by experts again and again. According to Berliner Zeitung, there are no scientific studies that can prove their usefulness. The opposite is the case: services such as glaucoma screening for green star and vaginal ultrasound on ovarian and uterine cancer often led to false findings and as a result to unnecessary intervention.

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