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RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG | 04/14/2005

Takeover of hospital of district Miltenberg

At its council meeting today the District of Miltenberg has decided by a large majority in favour of the sale of its Krankenhaus-GmbH to the listed hospital group RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG. The new private operator will take over a 100% interest in the facility. The parties agreed to maintain secrecy regarding the purchase price. Notarisation of the contract is to take place shortly.

Krankenhaus-GmbH Landkreis Miltenberg operates Krankenhaus Erlenbach with currently 220 beds and four day-care dialysis places, as well as Krankenhaus Miltenberg with currently 140 beds. Both hospitals are approved under the hospital plan of the Free State of Bavaria as general care facilities.

Krankenhaus Erlenbach comprises the main specialist departments for internal medicine, general surgery, obstetrics as well as the affiliated practitioner departments and oto-rhino-laryngology (ENT). There is also a department for geriatric rehabilitation. In 2004, nearly 9,780 patients were treated. At year-end 2004, the district hospital Kreiskrankenhaus Erlenbach employed a staff of 548.

Kreiskrankenhaus Miltenberg operates the main specialist departments for internal medicine, general surgery as well as the affiliated practitioner departments gynaecology, oto-rhino-laryngology (ENT) and urology. In 2004 this facility treated a total of nearly 4,600 patients. At year-end 2004, the district hospital Kreiskrankenhaus Miltenberg employed a staff of 287.

In the wake of the introduction of DRGs (diagnosis related groups = remuneration based on case flat rates defined for given diagnoses) and the accompanying shift in service volumes with the implementation of the catalogue of outpatient and inpatient-substituting services, and with the possibilities created by new legislation for delivering integrated care and establishing medical care centres (MVZs), the hospitals of Krankenhaus-GmbH found themselves confronted with structural, organisational and financial problems. This led them to seek a strong partner to enable them to ensure the region’s healthcare delivery in the future as well.

With a view to ensuring future healthcare delivery within the district of Miltenberg, RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG is planning to turn Kreiskrankenhaus Miltenberg into a teleportal clinic in the medium term, i.e. internal medicine provided on an inpatient basis will be maintained and surgery will focus on outpatient, short-time inpatient and day-case surgery, with internist care being assured in addition to emergency surgical capacities. Services will continue to be provided in the areas of gynaecology, ENT and urology provided that the community-based practitioners are prepared to do so. 

The teleportal clinic concept takes advantage of the possibilities opened up by telematics to make available expertise from cutting-edge medicine already at the level of standard care facilities. A central element of the teleportal clinic is that it is equipped with diagnostic-technical capacities matching the standard of a well-run major centre (e.g. CT = computer tomograph, MRT = magnetic resonance tomograph). Thanks to telematic online links to the appropriate major centres and specialist facilities, the teleportal clinic has direct access to expertise around the clock. The use of “virtually” present specialists will allow joint online diagnoses in “real time”. This is something that would be both technically and financially inconceivable in an "old" standard care hospital. With the teleportal clinic the inpatient care for patients in Miltenberg is ensured whilst expanding day-care and outpatient structures.

With Kreiskrankenhaus Erlenbach, the existing service contract with the health insurance funds will be continued. As in Mittenberg, this facility will also keep in readiness diagnostic-technical capacities matching the standard of a well-run major centre (e.g. CT and MRT). It is planned to set up interdisciplinary project groups to examine the hospital’s medical offering in terms of expansion potential and to develop corresponding concepts where appropriate. For example, the possibility of dividing the internal medicine area into specialised cardiological and gastroenterological units and the surgery area into accident emergency and visceral surgery units is being contemplated. 

The adoption of the teleportal/major centre concept for both hospitals is seen by the district of Miltenberg as being key to securing the long-term viability of both district hospitals. The detailed working model for the future concept is being developed jointly by the competent physicians and other key staff at the sites together with experts from RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG.