The plenum

The plenum is the decision-making body of the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA). It comprises 13 members with voting rights and meets once or twice a month in a public session.

The structure of the plenum is determined by the German Social Code, Book Five (SGB V). It comprises the impartial chair and two additional impartial members, five representatives from the Central Federal Association of Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) and a total of five representatives from the umbrella organizations of care providers (the German Hospital Federation and the National Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians and Dentists).

Each of the 13 members of the plenum has one vote in most matters. Different voting proportions apply to resolutions that affect only one or two of the care provider sectors (physicians, dentists, hospitals). The relevant directives and weighting of votes are determined in the bylaws.

The plenum passes a resolution if at least seven votes have been cast in its favour, unless stated otherwise in the bylaws. As a rule, resolutions are passed in public sessions. Closed sessions or written voting is permissible only in clearly defined exceptions.

In accordance with the regulations set forth in SGB V, additional representatives from federations and organizations in the German healthcare sector take part in the plenary sessions without voting rights.

  • Patient representatives have comprehensive discussion and petition rights on all agenda items.
  • Two representatives appointed by the Conference of Health Ministers of the German states (Länder) take part in discussions on issues affecting needs planning for contracted doctors. Their right to take part in discussions includes the right to have discussion items placed on the agenda.
  • One representative each from the German Medical Association, the Federation of Private Health Insurance Providers, and the German Nursing Council takes part in discussions on directives and resolutions affecting quality assurance. Participation rights extend to the German Psychotherapy Association and the German Dental Association for issues affecting psychotherapists and dentists.