September 19, 2021

In Germany, dozens of Covid-19 testing centers closed for fraud

One had opened in a bar, the other in a driving school. Two small Covid-19 screening centers were closed, Tuesday 1is June, in the same avenue of the popular district of Berlin-Neukölln. The decision was taken jointly by the police and the health services, who found serious breaches of hygiene rules and suspect the owners of these two establishments of having billed the health insurance for tests that they did not. have not realized.

These are not isolated cases. For a week, more than thirty screening centers have been closed for the same reason in Germany, to the point that the Federal Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, urgently gathered his counterparts across the Länder on Monday. May 31, in order to propose measures to regulate this sector whose activity has exploded over the past three months but which today appears to be virtually out of control.

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In Germany, testing locations have multiplied since the government in March announced that everyone could get tested for free once a week – and even once a day in some Länder. In total, more than 15,000 testing centers have opened across the country, in hotels, cinemas, restaurants or bars closed due to the epidemic, or in the form of stalls set up on a street corner. , in a market or a parking lot.

Lower tariffs and reinforced controls

For each test declared – these are rapid antigenic tests – the center in question receives 18 euros from health insurance. However, as the daily revealed recently Southgerman newspaper and public channels NDR and WDR in a joint survey, some centers report many more tests than they actually perform. However, fraud is all the easier since no system has been put in place to compare the number of tests carried out by an establishment with the number of those invoiced by the latter to the health insurance in order to obtain them. get reimbursed.

After these revelations, which led the prosecution of several Länder to open investigations, the Minister of Health justified his decision to generalize free antigenic tests. “This large-scale screening allowed us to break the third wave. The objective is to allow as many people as possible to be tested, but this should not lead some to get rich at the expense of the community ”Mr Spahn told Deutschlandfunk radio on Monday.

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