Gesundes Kinzigtal GmbH is a health care management company located in the small German town of Haslach seated in the black forest, and on the banks of the river Kinzig. Founded in 2005 it operates a regional integrated care system (Integrierte Versorgung Gesundes Kinzigtal - IVGK), and is responsible for all health care outcomes in the specific region.
Improving three vital issues
Gesundes Kinzigtal aims at improving three key issues of any health care system: cost, health, and care. This approach has been named “Triple Aim” by Don Berwick et al. 2008 in Health Affairs.
The name Gesundes Kinzigtal means "healthy Kinzig valley". It describes the company's aim and philosophy: to create and keep alive a healthy region. Its slogan reads: "Gemeinsam aktiv für Ihre Gesundheit", meaning working together actively for your health.
The intervention of Gesundes Kinzigtal includes about 20 preventive and health promotion programmes for specific conditions. The primary goal of these programmes is to improve patients’ overall health status and increase their quality of life and thus to reduce interventions that would be necessary without the improved health status.
Key features of the care management and preventive programmes are
- Individual treatment plans and goal-setting agreements between doctor and patient
- Enhancing patient self-management and shared decision-making (SDM)
- Chronic care model (Wagner et al., 2001), patient coaching and follow-up care
- Right care at the right time
- System-wide electronic patient record
Unique in Germany
Gesundes Kinzigtal's integrated care is one of the few population-based integrated care approaches in Germany, organising care across all health service sectors and indications. The system serving around half of the population of the region is run by Gesundes Kinzigtal GmbH in cooperation with a network of physicians in the region MQNK, and OptiMedis AG. Two statutory health insurers are currently working in partnership with Gesundes Kinzigtal. One of them is a the SVLFG – formerly known and referred to as LKK – a special insurer for farmers and their families, the other is AOK Baden-Württemberg, the biggest health insurer in southwest Germany.
The evaluation of Gesundes Kinzigtal's work by independent research institutions is coordinated by a separate coordination agency, EKIV („Evaluations-Koordinierungsstelle Integrierte Versorgung”). It was established at the department of medical sociology at Freiburg University. EKIV is managed by Dr. Ulrich Stößel (head of EKIV) and Dr. Achim Siegel, M.P.H.
All outcomes are cross checked by AOK and SVLFG respectively before they are made public.
In 2014 new figures lead to an improved contribution margin for 2012 of "146 Euro per AOK-insured person, or 4.6 million Euro for all 31,000 AOK-insured persons in the region in regard to risk adjusted normal costs of care in Germany". That is, the actual cost of the insured were almost seven percentage points lower than expected costs. For more information please click here.
A recent evaluation of the PMV Research Group of the University of Cologne draws positive conclusions as well. The researchers found that there was a decline in over-, under- and misuse of healthcare in many indications in the Kinzigtal region, and at the same time they observed an increase in healthcare quality.
For further information please visit the english website of Gesundes Kinzigtal.