The German procedure classification (Operationen- und Prozedurenschlüssel - OPS) is the official classification for the encoding of operations, procedures and general medical measures.
The currently valid version is OPS 2021.

The OPS is available in various versions and formats in German language and is updated annually. The currently valid version is effective from the beginning until the end of a calendar year. In the case of corrections during this period of validity you will be informed by our Newsletter.

Official classification for operations and procedures

DIMDI publishes the OPS classification on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health; it is in the public domain. Its use in inpatient care is laid down in § 301 Volume V of the German Social Security Code (SGB V) and for surgical procedures in the outpatient sector in § 295 SGB V.

Structure of OPS

OPS consists of two parts:

  • Tabular List: consisting of the hierarchically ordered list of codes together with supplementary information: The preface contains information about the encoding process and a commentary on the most important changes compared to the previous version. The appendix contains instructions on the calculation of expenditure points for complex intensive care treatment.
  • Alphabetical Index: as a collection of designations of operations and other procedures that can be encrypted with the official OPS (each with associated code); as of version 2021, the Alphabetical Index will be provided exclusively as TXT(CSV) version, a version as ODT or PDF will no longer exist.

The preface of OPS contains information for its use. However, priority in application has to be given to sector-specific encoding guidelines.

OPS as the basis for G-DRG, EBM and quality reports

OPS forms an important basis for the G-DRG and PEPP case-based fixed sum systems. They are provided by InEK (Institute for the Hospital Remuneration System) on behalf of the self-governing partners of the German health care and are used in inpatient care. OPS is also used to encode operations and procedures in the outpatient sector for remuneration in accordance with the doctor’s fee schedule, the so called German Uniform Assessment Standard (EBM). Hospital quality reports are also based on OPS-encoded procedures.

Proposal procedure for OPS and ICD-10-GM

OPS is maintained and updated in an elaborate process. At present, this is based on a proposal procedure conducted annually under the lead management of BfArM.

OPS as adaptation of ICPM by WHO

OPS is an adaptation of the International Classification of Procedures in Medicine (ICPM) of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The German version of the ICPM was developed on the basis of a translation of the extended Dutch version ICPM-DE (Dutch Extension). This was developed into OPS. Until 2004, OPS was known as OPS-301 (301 refers to § 301 SGB V stipulating the application of OPS). OPS is a version adapted to the specific requirements of the German health care system. It is currently revised on an annual basis in cooperation with the self-governing partners in the German healthcare system under the lead management of BfArM.

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