Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach wants to simplify the employer procedure for the electronic certificate of incapacity for work (eAU). Since the beginning of the year, companies have had to call up eAUs from the health insurance companies. The employer procedure at the eAU poses challenges, especially for small and medium-sized companies. “It’s just not a good status and has to go,” said the Federal Minister of Health in the Bundestag’s Digital Committee.
The current retrieval procedure is also damaging to acceptance at the moment. “We know the problem and are working on it. This is one of the tasks that are coordinated in parallel between BMG and Gematik.” Although Lauterbach emphasized that the BMG was not “directly” responsible, but was working on it. “A concrete technical solution is being prepared.”
BMAS knows nothing
According to the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS), however, “no changes are currently planned in the employer retrieval procedure for electronic notification of incapacity for work”. The automatic transmission of the AU directly by the health insurance companies to the employer without prior retrieval “has been examined in detail in advance of the legal regulations and cannot be implemented for reasons of data protection, since in certain case constellations the transmission of the employee’s health data to the wrong employer could come,” says a spokeswoman for the BMAS.
Only “the extension of the retrieval procedure for employers to periods of stay in prevention and rehabilitation facilities” was decided. This should come from January 2025.
eAU not new for doctors
Doctors have been obliged to send the eAU to the health insurance companies since October 2021. With the innovation, employers must request the electronic certificate of incapacity for work from the health insurance companies. The health insurance company then makes the eAU available for the employer to access. According to the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the eAU contains the name of the employee, the beginning and end of the medically determined incapacity to work, the date of issue and an indication of the initial or follow-up notification.
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