Over the past twelve years, the Dr. Horst Schmidt clinics (HSK), which originated from the Wiesbaden city hospitals and became a private limited company many years ago, have essentially developed to a comprehensive medical corporation, which now encompasses almost all aspects of services of general interest. The goal is to provide the citizens of Wiesbaden with answers to all questions relating to health as well as out-patient and in-patient treatment, including elder care, under the roof of the medical corporation. Every year, HSK treats about 45,000 in-patients and approximately 150,000 out-patients. With such patient figures and its overall service portfolio, HSK is counted among Germany’s maximum-care or central hospitals.
The challenges of the healthcare policy and distribution of limited resources have caused the spectrum of services offered by HSK to differentiate and specialize considerably. Besides the comprehensive palette of in-Patient services, HSK now offers services that are available only in a few areas in Germany or that are even unique to the country. To that extent, HSK provides the health care location of Wiesbaden with a municipal maximum-care hospital as well as other pioneering health care segments. The following presents some of those aspects and illustrates how they lift the economic power of the city of Wiesbaden.
The change in the health insurance legislation and the large choice of plans now offered by statutory health insurances have caused HSK to become involved in the financing of health care services through a special patient and customer loyalty programme. In the course of the past two and a half years, a programme and a product were developed that provide the citizens of Wiesbaden with a complementary insurance in addition to the statutory health insurance to cover optional services offered by specific service providers. The comprehensive preventative services offered on top of optional in-patient services are turning mc-plus into the population’s health care manager.
In addition to a voluntary health check, an electronic health file is being offered, which safely stores all of the insured’s information in accordance with the federal data protection law.
This is beneficial when quick access to the complete medical information of a person is required.
Moreover, an mc-plus member has access to an extensive professional network that can help find the right answer in a difficult situation. Meanwhile, more than 1,500 members have opted for that programme. At present, the programme, which was developed in Wiesbaden, is being presented to other hospitals and is receiving positive feedback. The aim is to establish a network of mc-plus partner hospitals, allowing the citizens of Wiesbaden to visit hospitals in other cities and receive the same optional mc-plus services. That privilege would be extended to the citizens of cities with mc-plus partner hospitals. In the long term, this is expected to give hospitals a competitive edge.
Ambient Assisted Living
HSK Rhein Main GmbH has taken part in a contest for research funds, through which the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) intends to support models that enable the ageing population to remain in their homes as long as possible while maintaining or even raising their health status and social quality of life. Together with Robert-Bosch-GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute of Dortmund as well as other partners and as the leader of the consortium, HSK has obtained a total two-stage fund volume of approximately two million euros. In combination with the above-mentioned mc-plus services and in cooperation with the non-profit housing organization Wohnungswirtschaft Wiesbaden GWW GmbH, tenants are advertised who can utilize the mc-plus services as well as telemedical care possibilities in the case of chronic ailments. This model is unique in Germany and yet another proof that the spa town of Wiesbaden has long become a health care location that, by means of innovative technology and smart solutions is to contribute to the innovative city of health.
Partner Service Centre
Through a special organization model, HSK was able to demonstrate that the patient care chain from the home to certain out- and in-Patient facilities and back to the home had to be managed differently from how it used to be. By means of appropriate integration contracts, future patient care will have a minimum of intersections all the while preventing health care costs from exploding.
HSK Rhein-Main GmbH assumes the responsibility of delivering not only optimal urgent care but also ongoing care of committed patients. In that regard, the partnership with the city of Wiesbaden in order to found a special retirement home on HSK grounds represents another building block in the closing of the patient care chain from birth to the end of life. This helps make sure that patients who are forced by health care policy factors to leave the hospital as soon as possible do not suffer care shortcomings, but are provided by HSK with suitable in-patient and out-Patient facilities (ambulatory care).
Since HSK was founded as a so-called one-class hospital, the development of convenience services is lagging behind that of medical services as compared with other hospitals, even in Wiesbaden. The proportion of private patients is, thus, significantly underrepresented with HSK, despite maximum medical capacities and verifiable successes. That is why HSK Rhein-Main GmbH has developed its own private hospital in recent years, which has allowed the proportion of private-care patients to rise by more than 25 per cent compared with the past. This demonstrates that expanding both the medical portfolio and the convenience services is crucial to the economic success of HSK.
To that extent, HSK is a permanent fixture of Wiesbaden and the health care of the entire Rhine-Main region. In addition to numerous medical research tasks accomplished, HSK has acquired a reputation in Germany that is characterized by both medical expertise and innovative approaches to health care.
The author is spokesperson for the management of HSK Rhein-Main GmbH and president of the hospital federation of Hessen. Previously, he had been active as the head of the finance and accounting section in the head offices of several hospitals as well as general manager of the hospital consulting firm Gebera and the health care network Vivantes Netzwerk für Gesundheit GmbH.