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GOT-Satz: Germany’s Veterinarian Fee Scale

In this glossary article we explain everything you need to know about something that can seem a little strange if you’re not German: the GOT-Satz.

    What is the GOT-Satz?

    GOT stands for Gebührenordnung für Tierärztinnen und Tierärzte, or fee scale for veterinarians. Satz in this context means ‘rate’, not sentence.

    The GOT-Satz is set by the Bundestierärztekammer, or German Federal Veterinary Association, and is considered bundesweit gültigen Rechtvorschrift, meaning it is a legal regulation that is valid nationwide. The GOT-Satz sets prices for veterinary services at a national level. It does not include prices for materials or medications, just the vet services themselves, i.e. the cost of your veterinarian’s labour.

    Why is there a GOT-Satz?

    The GOT-Satz exists to decrease competition amongst vets and avoid Dumpingpreise, or unfairly discounted rates.

    It also ensures a certain level of quality control, i.e. it requires vet clinics across the country to maintain a certain level of hygiene, disinfection, equipment and training of personnel.

    It can also be a great source of transparent info for pet owners and those who are considering getting a pet.

    How is the GOT-Satz calculated?

    The GOT-Satz is calculated based on:

    • the procedure and how complicated it is, including how many people need to be involved in the procedure;
    • location of the clinic;
    • date factors (like if the procedure takes place on the weekend, a holiday, or at night);
    • what the vet clinic is equipped with (vets with more modern equipment who can provide more in-house procedures tend to charge more);
    • the vet’s education and specialisation (specialists often charge more);
    • necessity of procedure (emergency vs. routine);
    • monetary value of the animal and any special needs

    The GOT-Satz can be anywhere between 1-facher Satz and 4-facher Satz.

    Some examples:

    • Vets in rural areas tend to charge less (often 1-facher Satz)
    • Vets in the city or more urban areas tend to charge more
    • Complex procedures or situations like unforeseen complications during surgery can result in even higher prices, i.e. 3- or 4-facher GOT-Satz
    • Nights, weekends and holidays are minimum 2-facher Satz plus an additional €50 Notdienstgebühr, or emergency service fee. This regulation has been in place since February 2020.

    What does it mean when a vet bill says 1-facher, 2-facher, 3-facher or 4-facher GOT-Satz?

    1-facher Satz is the minimum price that can be charged for a procedure. You may also see it referred to as the einfacher Satz, or basic rate. 2-facher is two times the basic rate, 3-facher is three times the basic rate, and 4-facher is–you guessed it–four times the basic rate.

    Vets can also charge a ‘1,2’ or a ‘2,4’ Satz, or rate (remember, German numbers use a full stop instead of a period, so 1,2 in Germany is the same as 1.2 in the UK, for example). But they cannot charge below 1-facher Satz.

    A written explanation is necessary if charges exceed 3-facher Satz, and pet owners must consent to the treatment before it is implemented. In emergencies, vets are allowed to charge 4-facher Satz.

    Here are some examples. Note that these are non-binding rough estimates. Ask your vet to be sure!

    • 1-fach: Basic procedures like vaccinations, especially in rural areas
    • 2-fach: Often used for “difficult” animals (biting, scratching, nervous), or at clinics in more urban areas
    • 3-fach: Unforeseen complications during surgery, treatment from specialists
    • 4-fach: Legally only allowed in emergency situations

    Does the GOT-Satz ever change?

    Yes. All changes to the GOT-Satz are made by the Bundestierärztekammer and require extensive negotiations.

    The latest change was in November 2022 and included price increases. On average, costs are 25% higher than in the beginning of 2022, with prices for some services costing even more.

    Previously, the most recent changes had been made in 1999.

    What GOT-Satz should pet health insurance cover?

    Insurance that covers up to 3-fach should take care of most treatments and situations. However, 4-fach emergencies unfortunately do happen, and when they do they can be exorbitantly expensive.

    Getsafe’s pet health insurance covers up to 4-fach, so your furry friend is always taken care of.

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