Dr. Kai Ruffmann is a cardiologist based in Germany who has been recommending and administering EECP® Therapy treatments for his patients for more than ten years. He has treated more than 250 patients in the hospital he worked at in the Black Forest region, and recently opened his own cardiology and internal medicine clinic in Baden-Baden.
Though various sites in Germany have provided EECP Therapy for many years, Dr. Ruffmann is the first German provider to get one of the German health insurance companies – a sickness fund – to provide reimbursement coverage for EECP Therapy, which is a huge win.
Germany has a universal multi-payer healthcare system with two main types of health insurance: “Law-enforced health insurance” (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung), also known as sickness funds, and “Private” (Private Krankenversicherung). The “law enforced health insurance” is available for people who fall below a certain income level, and is provided through private non-profit sickness funds at common rates for all members. This insurance is paid for with joint employer-employee contributions.
The recently updated 2013 European Society of Cardiology Guidelines granted a IIa Level of Recommendation for EECP Therapy in treating refractory angina patients and this upgrade in status helps with reimbursement from insurance companies. At Vasomedical, we know that EECP Therapy changes lives, and we are very pleased to see that additional insurance companies around the world are beginning to accept this treatment and reimburse for it.
We appreciate Dr. Ruffmann’s commitment to his patients and his support of EECP Therapy on their behalf. We will continue to work with him to expand reimbursement coverage for more patients in Germany and Europe.