Those who help help cancer patients

Oncological rehab - important information for referring doctors

Do you look after cancer patients in your practice or clinic? For people with cancer, oncological rehabilitation can be an important step on the way back to life, for a self-determined everyday life, for maintaining the ability to work and for improving the quality of life. Oncological rehabilitation in a specialized clinic is an important module in the holistic care of cancer survivors (cancer survivorship).

Every year around 150,000 people take advantage of the opportunity for oncological rehab through the German Pension Insurance (DRV). A good half of them are gainfully employed, the other rehab patients are already retired or are using rehab as relatives. The majority of the rehabilitation candidates are female. In principle, DRV and the statutory and private health insurance companies have equal responsibility for assuming the costs of oncological rehabilitation (medical rehabilitation for new formations) for the target groups mentioned. As a rule, the DRV is responsible for employees with pension insurance. Officials apply for oncological rehab at the aid agency.

When is oncological rehab indicated?

Many people with cancer can benefit from oncological rehabilitation and are entitled to a three-week (longer if necessary) inpatient rehabilitation. Physical and psychological impairments in the course of cancer and cancer therapy, which affect everyday, professional and / or social life, are possible indications (further indications can be found here).
The prerequisite for oncological rehabilitation is general rehabilitation ability, i.e. the patients must be physically and psychologically resilient enough to be able to participate in individual and group therapies. It is also important to have a positive rehabilitation prognosis, i.e. your medical assessment of whether the rehabilitation can have a positive effect on the quality of life and, if applicable, the ability to work of your cancer patient.

A follow-up rehabilitation (AR; AHB) is often recommended and initiated by the hospital's social services directly after the tumor treatment has been completed. This must be done within two weeks of the hospital stay. But even after that, you can advise people with cancer to rehab: If the need and the medical requirements persist, cancer patients can receive renewed oncological rehabilitation (inpatient follow-up care) after 12 and 24 months. The end of primary treatment is always the decisive deadline for these two repeat measures. As a rule, it is advisable to apply for rehab three months before the deadline expires, i.e. 9 months after the primary treatment or 21 months afterwards.

If another cancer operation or radiation therapy is required because metastases have formed, a new 2-year period begins if medically necessary.

How can you support your patients in applying for rehab?

As the attending doctor, you are the crucial interface between outpatient care and inpatient rehab for the benefit of your patients. You can show your cancer patients and family members of cancer patients the possibilities and chances of an oncological rehab. The applicant for rehab is always the patient himself, so you can only prescribe rehab indirectly.
If you decide to go to rehab, your report must be attached to the patient's rehab application. You should state the main diagnosis, which in your opinion justifies a need for rehabilitation for your patient, as the first diagnosis, the further diagnoses in the order of their importance. It is important to briefly explain the exact description of the functional restrictions associated with the diagnosis, e.g. "Incontinence after radically treated prostate C" instead of just "Z.n. Prostate Ca ". You can find detailed information on completing the report here.

The necessary forms that your patient needs to apply for oncological rehab through the pension insurance can be found in the box on the right - just like your fee statement form (G0600 form).

For reasons of data protection law, the insurance provider is not allowed to inform you about the approval of the rehab, only your patient himself.

What happens after inpatient rehab?

Recommendations for you as the treating doctor will be sent to you for discharge, you will receive a letter from the rehab clinic. You will of course be informed of possible adjustments to the medication with justification.

Statements on professional performance and the initiation of professional reintegration are also part of the tasks of the clinic's rehabilitation team.
Some aftercare support falls under the general practitioner's area of ​​responsibility, e.g. rehabilitation sports. It can be prescribed regardless of the general practitioner's budget.

Further important information can be found here: