Changing Your OBGYN During Pregnancy in Germany: What You Need to Know

17 May 2023 | Before Your Baby is Born | By Lisa H

If you're thinking about changing obstetricians during your pregnancy because you are unhappy, you are moving to a new neighborhood or another reason, here is what you need to know.

Overall, it’s important to note that feeling at ease, well informed and taken care of by your “birth team” is super important! Not just for your own health and safety but also that of your baby. You want to feel confident that you are making the best decisions for yourself and your baby and that these decisions are respected by your practitioner. (This also goes for midwives or doulas or any other birth and prenatal professionals.)

So, if you decide that you do want or need to change your OBGYN during pregnancy, here are the answers to the main questions:

How Can I Choose a New Doctor?

Generally, you are free to choose any health practitioner you like.

When Can I Switch Doctors?

If you are publicly insured, the easiest time to switch is at the beginning of a new quarter (as this is tied to the medical billing cycle).

In theory, you can also change specialists within a quarter if there's a valid reason, such as a disrupted doctor-patient relationship.

However, in practice, it can get a little tricky and here’s why: Some services provided by your obstetrician as part of prenatal care can only be billed once, which means your new obstetrician might not be able to bill for certain exams during the current quarter.

So if you have already seen your current doctor for an appointment in the current quarter, your new doctor may not accept you as a new patient for the current quarter. So do check with the new doctor you’d like to work with to find our if they're willing to accept you as a new patient.

You can also ask them if you can pay privately for the money they would be missing out on – some doctors are willing to do so though not all.

If you have not have any appointments yet in the current quarter, there should not be any issues with switching.

Also, if you have private health insurance, none of the above issues apply to you – you can change your doctors anytime.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

It is helpful for the new doctor to have a copy of your medical records as this helps them to understand your previous treatment and to make sure you're getting the care you need.

You can request a copy from your current doctor yourself or your new doctor can request it for you (you may need to pay a small fee to your old doctor to obtain the record.)

Do not be afraid to make this change if you feel that’s what’e best for you and your child! If you are still having trouble, you can reach out for  to the Unabhängige Patientenberatung Deutschland, who can advise you for free about your options.

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