The issue of the new electronic health card (eGK) including NFC chip could be further delayed. This is apparently related to the ongoing chip shortage, which continues after the lockdown in Shanghai. The eGK is directly related to the e-prescription, which means its planned launch on September 01 could be delayed (yet again).
Electronic health card suffers from chip shortage
As heise online reports, various health insurance companies are suffering from an ongoing chip shortage when issuing the electronic health card. This has a direct impact on the issuance of the new cards including the NFC chip, which could thus be delayed yet again.
According to the report, AOK, Germany’s largest health insurer, blames the lockdown in Shanghai in particular, due to which the required chips were still missing. Barmer and IKK also see problems, but assure that there is currently no chip shortage.
According to IKK, however, possible supply bottlenecks cannot be ruled out. Techniker Krankenkasse, on the other hand, sees no problems or bottlenecks. The introduction of the new eGK – which will also be accompanied by the so-called digital identities – was planned for 2023, but is now likely to be delayed once again.
The digital identities are an online application that patients can use to identify themselves directly via their smartphones. In this way, the insured status with the respective health insurance company could be proven at the doctor or the pharmacy.
Federal government sees the problem
In a letter from the federal government, one commented on the possible chip shortage and its effects on the electronic health card at the request of the CDU/CSU. It says that the Federal Ministry of Health takes this matter very seriously and is in regular contact with the Society for Telematics.
“According to current statements of the mainly affected card manufacturer will be from the end of the 3rd quarter of 2022 subsequent deliveries of chip modules,” it says in the response of the Federal Government. One assumes thus to be able to minimize the currently prevailing supply bottleneck in the near future.
According to the AOK, however, so far only a few insured persons are affected, so that no disadvantages arise from the chip shortage. Those affected will receive a replacement certificate during the transitional phase, which they can simply present to their doctor. In this way, the services would be billed directly by the attending physician or dentist to the health insurance company, as was previously the case.
So far, however, such certificates have only been issued regionally and in a few exceptional cases. And yet the AOK assumes that the issuing of replacement certificates will increase over the summer months.
The new eGK is a basic prerequisite for the use of the e-prescription app, the introduction of which was actually planned for September 1 after several postponements. Whether this date can now be met remains open for the time being. You can at least see where e-prescriptions will be accepted from now on on an interactive map with all the acceptance points.