§1 Applicability of the GTC
- a. The GTC regulate the business relationship between the alternative practitioner and the patient as a treatment contract within the meaning of §§ 611 ff BGB (German Civil Code), unless otherwise agreed in writing between the contracting parties.
- b. The treatment contract comes into effect when the patient accepts the general offer of the Heilpraktiker to practice medicine against anyone and turns to the Heilpraktiker for the purpose of consultation, diagnosis and therapy.
- c. However, the alternative practitioner is entitled to refuse a treatment contract without giving reasons; in particular if a necessary relationship of trust cannot be expected, it concerns complaints which the alternative practitioner cannot or may not treat due to his specialisation or for legal reasons or which could bring him into conflicts of conscience. In this case, the Heilpraktiker's fee claim for the services rendered up to the refusal, including consultation, remains intact.
§2 Content and purpose of the treatment contract
- a. The Heilpraktiker provides his services to the patient in the form of applying his knowledge and skills of the practice of medicine for consultation, diagnosis and therapy with the patient.
- b. The patient decides freely on the methods of diagnosis and therapy according to his or her state of mind, after having been comprehensively informed by the alternative practitioner about the applicable methods and their advantages and disadvantages from a professional and economic point of view. Insofar as the patient does not or cannot decide, the alternative practitioner is authorised to apply the method which corresponds to the presumed will of the patient.
- c. As a rule, alternative practitioners use methods that are not recognised by orthodox medicine and do not correspond to the state of science. These methods are generally also not causally-functionally explainable and insofar not goal-oriented. In this respect, a subjectively expected success of the method can neither be promised nor guaranteed. Therefore, no liability claims can be derived for possible consequences. If the patient rejects the use of such methods and wishes to be advised, diagnosed or treated exclusively according to scientifically recognised methods of conventional medicine, he must declare this in writing to the alternative practitioner.
- d. The alternative practitioner may not prescribe sick leave or prescribe prescription medication.
§3 Participation of the patient
The patient is not obliged to actively cooperate. However, the alternative practitioner is entitled to terminate the treatment if the necessary relationship of trust no longer appears to exist, in particular if the patient negates the contents of the consultation, provides incorrect or incomplete information on the medical history and diagnosis or thwarts therapeutic measures.
§4 Remuneration of the alternative practitioner
- a) The Heilpraktiker is entitled to a fee for his services. Insofar as the fees are not agreed individually between the Heilpraktiker and the patient, the rates listed in the annex to these GTC - Price List Cash Payers - shall apply.
- b) The fees for each day of treatment are to be paid by the patient in cash immediately after the treatment to the alternative practitioner against receipt.
- c) If the Heilpraktiker arranges services of third parties which he does not supervise professionally (e.g. laboratory services analogous to M III-IV, N of the GOÄ), the Heilpraktiker is entitled to claim the amounts invoiced by the third party as his own fee components and to settle them with the patient in the anticipated amount according to paragraph b). These amounts are to be shown separately in receipts and invoices. In doing so, the Heilpraktiker will not allow himself to be reimbursed by the third parties or to receive any other advantages. The Heilpraktiker is, however, entitled to claim his own fees from the patient for the mediation of accompanying services if a corresponding agreement has been made. There is no reimbursement or granting of advantages if the Heilpraktiker provides the services himself or as a member of a laboratory association and the costs do not exceed the simple rate of the GOÄ.
- d) If the Heilpraktiker has services performed by third parties which he supervises himself (e.g. laboratory services analogous to M I-II of the GOÄ), these services are part of the fees of the Heilpraktiker. If no inclusive agreement has been made, these costs will be invoiced at the simple rate of positions 3500-3621 of the GOÄ.
- e) In the cases of paragraphs c) and d), the Heilpraktiker is exempt from the restrictions of § 181 BGB and may conclude legal transactions as the patient's agent between the third party (e.g. laboratory) and himself. This also applies if § 181 BGB would also be applicable to the legal relationship between the Heilpraktiker and third parties (e.g. in the case of laboratory associations); irrespective of any exemption in this respect. The prohibition of granting advantages according to paragraph c remains unaffected by this.
- f) Due to legal regulations (§ 43 AMG in the version of the 8th amendment 1998), the dispensing of pharmacy-required medicinal products is not permitted to alternative practitioners. However, direct administration to patients by the alternative practitioner is still permissible, as this is not a dispensing but a use. It follows from this that Heilpraktiker fees basically include the medicinal products used and that no deduction or specification of any kind is possible.
- g) On the other hand, the dispensing of medicinal products by pharmacies to the patient for prescribed or recommended medicinal products constitutes a direct transaction not covered by these GTC, which has no influence on the fee and invoice structure of the Heilpraktiker. This also applies to over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements and other aids recommended or prescribed by the Heilpraktiker and purchased by the patient from relevant sales outlets. The patient is free to choose the pharmacy or sales outlet.
- h) Irrespective of letters a) - e), patients receive an invoice according to GebüH85 upon request. The choice between the lowest rate and the highest rate depends on the intensity of the individual treatment unit and the degree of difficulty and is incumbent on the alternative practitioner regardless of the patient's insurance status. The choice between cash payment conditions and GebüH85 has to be decided by the patient in writing at the beginning of the treatment, a subsequent change is not possible.
- i) If the patient does not keep the appointment reserved for him/her for reasons for which the alternative practitioner is not responsible, or if the cancellation is made so late (the appointment must be cancelled 48 hours in advance) that the appointment cannot be rescheduled for organisational reasons, the alternative practitioner is entitled to claim damages for loss of earnings. (LG Hannover, AZ: 19 S 34/97) (For more information see Cancellation of Appointments)
§5 Reimbursement of fees by third parties
- a) Insofar as the patient is or believes to be entitled to reimbursement or partial reimbursement of the fee by third parties, § 4 is not affected by this. The Heilpraktiker does not carry out direct billing and cannot defer the fee or parts of the fee in view of a possible reimbursement.
- b) Insofar as the Heilpraktiker provides the patient with information on the reimbursement practice of third parties within the scope of the economic consultation according to § 2 paragraph b, this information is non-binding. In particular, the usual reimbursement rates shall not be deemed to be an agreed fee within the meaning of § 4 paragraph a and the scope of the Heilpraktiker's services pursuant to § 2 paragraph b shall not be limited to reimbursable services.
§6 Confidentiality of treatment
- a) The alternative practitioner treats the patient's data confidentially and provides information regarding the diagnosis, the consultations and the therapy as well as their accompanying circumstances and the patient's personal circumstances only with the express written consent of the patient. The written form can be waived if the information is in the interest of the patient and it can be assumed that the patient will agree.
- b) Paragraph a) does not apply if the alternative practitioner is obliged to pass on the data due to statutory regulations - for example, the obligation to report certain diagnoses - or is obliged to provide information by official or court order. This also applies to information provided to legal guardians, but not to information provided to spouses, relatives or family members. Paragraph a) shall furthermore not apply if personal attacks are made against him or his professional practice in connection with the consultation, diagnosis or therapy and he can exonerate himself by using accurate data or facts.
- a) According to § 4 paragraph a) and b), the patient receives a cash payment receipt upon request with the date of treatment and specification of the services rendered, third-party and ancillary services. The receipt contains the name the address of the alternative practitioner, the name and, if requested, the address and the date of birth of the patient. The retroactive issue of receipts is not possible for organisational reasons.
- b) If, for reasons of proof or reimbursement in accordance with § 4 paragraph h), the patient requests an invoice in accordance with GebüH85, which contains a diagnosis and therapy specifications with diagnosis conclusions, this will be issued and is immediately due for payment in cash.
- c) If the patient pays the fee by bank transfer, Euro 5.00 will be charged as a handling fee for the additional administrative work.
Disagreements arising from the treatment contract and the GTC should be settled amicably. To this end, it is advisable to submit counter-arguments, dissenting opinions or complaints in writing to the respective other contracting party.
§9 Severability clause
Should individual provisions of the treatment contract or the GTC be or become invalid or void, this shall not affect the validity of the treatment contract as a whole. The invalid or void provision shall rather be replaced by a provision that comes closest to the purpose of the contract and the intention of the parties in a free interpretation.