Clinic and practices as a team: MHH Neurology offers new form of outpatient care

Better diagnostics and treatment for multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular diseases

 A male and female doctor are standing in an examination room.

Offering extended care for patients with multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular diseases: Professor Skripuletz and Professor Petri. Copyright: Karin Kaiser / MHH.

Hannover Medical School (MHH) is expanding its range of treatments for rare or severe diseases with a particular course of disease. For people with multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular diseases, the Department of Neurology now offers outpatient specialist care (ASV). The special feature: In this form of care, the doctors at the clinic work in a team with specialists in private practice. Thanks to the interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral care, patients, most of whom are seriously ill, receive high-quality outpatient diagnostics and treatment.

Cross-sector care

"We have already worked very well with doctors in private practice before, but the new outpatient form of care puts the whole thing on a better footing," explains Professor Dr. Thomas Skripuletz, Senior Physician at the Department of Neurology and Head of ASV for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The clinic currently has five specialist practices on board for the project. The clinic and specialist practices complement each other in the care of individual patients. "ASV also allows us to bill for services in a different way, so we can offer patients additional useful diagnostics and more suitable therapies," says Professor Skripuletz. Examples include extended laboratory tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to visualize soft tissue, electroencephalography (EEG) to measure brain activity and electromyography (EMG) to examine electrical activity in the muscle.

Progress for those affected

"For people with rare or severe diseases with a particular course, ASV is a great leap forward overall," says Professor Dr. Susanne Petri, Acting Director of the Department of Neurology and Head of ASV for neuromuscular diseases.  These include, for example, neuropathies, polyneuropathies, myopathies, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and neuromuscular transmission disorders. "It can be difficult to make an in-depth diagnosis in the practices. That's where we can offer support. At the same time, the practices can get first-hand research results from us," explains Professor Petri.

Special contractual conditions

Outpatient specialist care was launched in 2014 in accordance with the guidelines of the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) with gastrointestinal tumors and tuberculosis and has since been continuously expanded to include other clinical pictures. ASV is not part of regular SHI-accredited medical care. The possible medical services defined for each clinical picture are paid for on an extra-budget basis. 

Text: Tina Götting