[Contract of the German Health Insurance AOK Hessen Concerning Prolonged Weaning-Methods and First Experiences]

Dagmar Giese, Jörg Blau, Walter Knüppel, Aggi Neumann-Schiebener, Andreas Günther, Christian Reinhardt, Wolfram Windisch, Stefan Andreas
Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift 2020 September 9

INTRODUCTION:  In recent years, the number of patients requiring mechanical ventilation has increased steadily. In some cases, weaning is not successful. These patients depend on home mechanical ventilation and intensive outpatient care. Surprisingly, most of these patients were never treated in a weaning center. Thus, weaning might still be possible in at least some of them. Health insurance companies have recognized this problem.

METHODS:  AOK Hessen, a major health insurance company in the German federal state of Hesse, identified some starting points for improvement after having surveyed their patients in ambulant intensive care. Principal points for future measures are expertise of the treating medical center (weaning experience, weaning center), establishment of new centers for homecare ventilation for long term therapy of these patients and a coordinated follow up.

RESULTS:  Centers for homecare ventilation are wards with a non-hospital atmosphere affiliated to a weaning center. The main focus here is not weaning itself but daily physical and speech therapy. Patients in home care ventilation centers have time (up to 6 months) to improve their physical and mental strength. Afterwards, depending to their development, they can be transferred to the weaning center again.

DISCUSSION:  In this paper, we introduce the concept of the home care ventilation centers. Initial data suggests that home care ventilation centers can contribute to successful weaning.

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