Medical treatment from specialists in accidental injuries (accident insurance consultants from all professional associations)

The licence to practice as an accident insurance consultant is granted by the responsible state associations and confers wide-ranging powers of authority, but also considerable obligations. The accident insurance consultant must act almost as the representative of the accident

insurance company to manage the entire recovery process, giving him a coordinator role from the first aid stage to rehabilitation and beyond to any recommendations regarding compensation. He will maintain contact with the attending physician, the casualty hospital, the rehabilitation institutions, other specialists involved in the patient's care and the accident insurance company concerned.

The accident insurance consultancy process
The accident insurance consultancy process regulates the treatment and charging of an accident in the workplace in Germany (which also includes accidents that occur on the way to or from work). It is only invoked in cases where a statutory accident insurance company (commercial professional association, agricultural professional association or statutory accident insurance fund) will bear the costs of treatment. In the event of accident in the workplace and in cases of relapse of an illness due to an accident in the workplace, the free choice of physician is limited: the injured party must in normal cases seek the advice of an accident insurance consultant. Employers must notify their employees of this. If an injured party mistakenly first attends their general practitioner, the GP must refer the patient to an accident insurance consultant. Since the costs arising from an accident in the workplace are not met by the health insurance fund, but rather by the accident insurance fund, no health insurance card or chip card is required when attending the accident insurance consultant. Prescribed medications do not require any contributory payment from the patient.

Requirements on accident insurance consultants
Strict criteria are applied to doctors wishing to become licensed as accident insurance consultants.
First of all, the physician must be specialist in orthopaedics and trauma surgery and hold a position in the trauma surgery department of a hospital approved to treat major injuries. An accident insurance consultant's practice must have specialist equipment and facilities, such as theatres for invasive procedures and a radiology suite. An accident insurance consultant must attend continuous professional development training at least once a year and keep his skills and his practice up to date with the very latest developments in technology and medicine. There are also extensive obligations in relation to documentation, reporting and assessments.