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Towards an integrated care organization at the Hôpital du Jura bernois

Berner Jura Hospital is a pioneer in the Swiss healthcare system. The facility is becoming an integrated care organization and will offer an alternative basic insurance model with the goal of quality of care and lower costs.

The Swiss Medical Network (SMN), the insurance company Visana and the canton of Bern announced on Friday in Moutier that they have joined forces to create a unique healthcare system in Switzerland for the people of the Jura Arc. The concept of integrated care is to provide medical and insurance services in a coordinated manner through a single entity.

The principle is to bring together all the actors who in the current system have divergent interests, customers, insurance companies and healthcare providers in the same organisation. “It is quite a historic moment with this paradigm shift in the Swiss healthcare system,” said SMN board chairman Raymond Loretan.

With the entry of the insurance company Visanas in the capital of Hôpital du Jura bernois SA (HJB), which is owned by SMN and the canton of Bern, the care network will be able to offer its own health plan, an alternative to the traditional health system Forsikring. Bernese Jura Hospital will become Réseau de l’Arc and will offer an alternative basic health insurance plan from January 1, 2024.

Qualitative approach

The care organization Réseau de l’Arc will manage the health capital for people who choose this health scheme instead of their traditional basic health insurance. The patient who chooses this system will be offered a doctor who will be his interlocutor.

The provision of services and the insurance product is the responsibility of a single organization. The costs of medical services are borne exclusively by the organization of integrated care and are financed by a premium per inhabitant and per patient.

This model is inspired by Kaiser Permanente, an integrated care organization present in the United States. In order to motivate all actors to act responsibly, the current fee-for-service system for service providers is replaced by funding per member.

This integrated care organization therefore prefers a qualitative rather than a quantitative approach, explained Antoine Hubert, CEO of SMN’s Board of Directors. ‘There is a clear incentive to prevent rather than cure’. The other insurances will remain the alternative to this new product.

“The health system needs a development”, stressed Bernese Minister of State Pierre Alain Schnegg, noting that the increase in premiums is a sign that something is wrong. “The current system has reached its limits, it is time to renovate it,” the health director added.

New shareholder

To establish this first integrated care organization in Switzerland, Visana will take a stake in the share capital of HJB, whose company name will be Réseau de l’Arc SA. The sickness and accident insurance company will take a share through a capital increase.

Visana thus becomes the 3rd shareholder in the health organization together with SMN and the canton of Bern. The private group of clinics and hospitals in Switzerland will lose its majority shareholder status. From 1 January 2023, it will again be a minority shareholder in equal shares with Visana and the canton.

For Visana chairman Lorenz Hess, a new era is dawning for the Swiss healthcare system. This model of integrated care. ‘We offer our customers in Jura Arc innovative insurance solutions adapted to their needs’.





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