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Z Arztl Fortbild Qualitatssich. 2004 Sep;98(6):467-8.

[Should acupuncture be reimbursed? Three acupuncture programmes of German Statutory Health Insurance Funds (SHI) and their scientific evaluation].

[Article in German]

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Zentrum für naturheilkundliche Forschung, II. Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik, Technische Universität München.


An estimated 40,000 physicians offer acupuncture treatment to patients in Germany. Due to a decision of the German Federal Committee of SHI-accredited Physicians and Health Insurance Funds, acupuncture treatment for chronic low back pain, headache and osteoarthritic pain may be reimbursed from 2000 onwards if patients and physicians participate in specific scientifically evaluated model projects of the Statutory Health Insurance Funds. Currently, three separate acupuncture programmes are offered by different Statutory Health Insurance Funds. The scientific evaluation of all these programmes includes both randomised trials (comparing acupuncture to no treatment, sham acupuncture or standard treatment in 300 to several thousands of patients) and large cohort studies. Details of the three programmes will be presented in the following chapters.

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