Figure: Two-tier integrated care concept
Under this concept, the care model follows the patient-oriented flow principle which has been successfully applied at our acute hospitals for many years and is now to be expanded to the outpatient area. The focus of interest in treatment is the patient. The aim is to provide patients with treatment at the correct treatment level depending on their medical needs. Of decisive importance is for patients to be assigned to the correct care unit when their initial diagnosis is made on admission, and to be moved from one care level to the other in the course of the treatment.
For us, doctors are like bridge builders, closing the gap between the sectors. Together with nursing staff, they are closest to patients and they are the most familiar with their needs. Doctors are to be involved in the regional portal clinic/MVZ structures, enabling them to put to work their medical expertise while at the same time assuming economic responsibilities. In this regard it is unquestionable that medical independence is essential and vital when it comes to ensuring good medical care. To explore and take new approaches in socialised healthcare delivery, we are committed to an open dialogue with community-based practitioners and an open alliance with providers. With this in mind we concluded a co-operation agreement with the Association of Physicians Accredited under Statutory Health Insurance (Kassenärztlichen Bundesvereinigung).
We also look to the market as a dynamic force in implementing our care model, since innovation is something vitally necessary when it comes to developing viable care solutions and ensuring good medical care. Such innovation is only possible in an environment in which healthcare providers compete for the best ideas.