Cross-Border Health Care Mobility in Border Regions of the Baltic Sea

Manfred Bornewasser and Stefanie Otte (University of Greifswald )

Cross-border health care management and patient mobility in countries around the Baltic Sea have become relevant topics of increasing importance. Western and eastern European insurances entitle their members to use certain treatments in other EU-countries and to obtain reimbursement even in the case of planned treatments. As a consequence, competition increases and forces eastern European health care organizations especially in Poland and the Baltic States to adopt organizational structures, procedures and quality standards. On the theoretical basis of sociological institutionalism this adoption process is reconstructed. At the same time there is a lot of health care motivated mobility of individual insurants demanding treatments in clinics or sanatoria as well as with dentists and opticians. There is clear evidence that the  number of treatments and the amount of mobility is increasing over time (since 2004) and distance (from the German-Polish border). These results are in line with the theory. The presentation gives an impression of the development of cross-border health care mobility on aggregate and individual level and offers some empirical results of attitudes of insurants concerning health care mobility.

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