Coronavirus | Germany to crack down on fraud in test centres

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BERLIN, June 10 - Germany's health minister plans to crack down on fraud in test centres by implementing spot checks and reducing the amount the state reimburses for costs following media reports of over-billing by some providers.

According to a draft of new testing legislation introduced on Thursday as it is going to be reduced from 18 euros, the amount in which 800 euros are reimbursed for the test and 4.50 euros for the materials to be reduced by other departments.

In addition, random test centres will be appointed only on an individual basis to ensure quality, while health insurers will be obliged to check the plausibility of billing and conduct private checking.

"Test" is central to Germany's strategy to contain coronavirus infections. As the economy eventually began to open this spring, a negative test of at least 24 hours was required to dine in restaurants, sit at cafes or shop in non-essential stores.

Since March 1 Germans have had to pass at least one free test a week, prompting test centres to spring up in bars, kiosks, art galleries and even pole dancing clubs in an unusually unbureaucratic way as business owners saw an income opportunity.

But some places actually run more tests than they hired them last month, the German media reported, and the government has vowed to toughen restrictions to combat fraud.

On Thursday, Germany reported a 3,187 increase in infection cases to a total of 3,709, 129, according to the Robert Koch Institute for Coronavirus Diseases data from Germany. The seven day virus incidence was below 20 cases per 100,000.

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