At the beginning of 1995, the introduction of the statutory Health Insurance Card in Germany has been successfully completed. Its electronic memory chip permits the storage of the personal identification data of the about 73 Mio insured persons in Germany. Personal identification data are name, address, date of birth, health insurance number and insurance status. The offices of the about 110.000 German ambulatory physicians have at the same time been equipped with card reading devices and printers that permit the reading and processing of administrative data. In the meantime, the presentation of the health insurance card at each consultation has become mandatory and thus replaced the obligatory submission of claims forms. The health insurance card entitles the patient to receive medical services. The identification data stored on the memory chip are transferred to all forms used in practices (such as reimbursement forms, prescriptions, disability forms and referrals to hospitals).
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