In 2021, the focus of the board and the ANQ administrative office was on the reforms to the Swiss Health Insurance Act and the associated planned expansion of ANQ services. In addition to the course set at the association level, important developments to ANQ reviews were also introduced.
In 2021, the new provisions of the Swiss Health Insurance Act (KVG) and the preparatory work for implementing Art. 58a KVG on quality contracts dominated the year. The administrative office and the board worked intensively to optimally prepare ANQ for the future so that it would be able to meet the expectations and additional requirements of its members. The most important objective for all our activities was to continue to maintain the consensual cooperation through ANQ, that has been successful for many years, between cantons, service providers and insurers, and to align the ANQ structures so as to meet the needs of all members of the association.
The first changes were made as early as spring 2021: at the request of H+ Swiss Hospitals, a change was made to the number of H+ delegates on the ANQ board, without altering the number of votes. The General Assembly of Members approved the corresponding amendment to ANQ’s statutes, establishing the foundations for the board’s future strategic direction.
We achieved an important milestone at the board’s summer retreat. Together with the negotiating partners for the quality contracts as per Art. 58a KVG, we defined the future role of ANQ as the coordinator for implementing quality development. This will involve ANQ continuing to serve as a platform for cooperation between insurers, service providers and cantons. In November, these guiding principles were developed in greater depth and the foundational documents were prepared for submission to the contracting partners of the ANQ National Quality Agreement. The board also arrived at a solution for financing the additional ANQ services; thanks to its solid financial position, ANQ will be able to finance future quality development-related work from its own resources over a two-year start-up phase.
We are delighted that ANQ will be able to play an important role not only in quality reviews but also in the area of quality improvements. This will enable us to meet our association’s objectives more effectively as well as to assist and support both the quality contract partners as per Art. 58a KVG in developing quality and the cantons in their quality-related activities. We would like to thank all those involved for their constructive efforts in seeking a solution and for the great trust they have placed in ANQ.
In 2021, ANQ reviews also underwent important changes:
- launch of the SIRIS Spine implant registry
- first transparent publication of two-year revision rates for primary hip and knee implantations
- simplified monitoring method for the wound infection review
- review plan modification in rehabilitation
- launch of the satisfaction review in child and adolescent psychiatry
- integration of brief periods of hospitalisation in psychiatry
The pilot projects in outpatient acute care and intermediate clinical outpatient psychiatry also gained momentum in 2021. Starting in 2022, a gratifyingly large number of hospitals and clinics will be participating in the pilot reviews.
The data collected as part of ANQ reviews over the past ten years has great potential for enabling targeted additional evaluations across all departments. To highlight this potential, the ANQ administrative office prepared an overview of the numerous evaluation opportunities, which was greeted with great interest by the board.
For the administrative office, 2021 was a very busy year. In addition to its day-to-day activities, the ANQ administrative office was also involved in numerous exchange meetings related to the association’s quality strategy and four-year goals, which the administrative office commented on in detail over the course of the consultation process. In addition to this, it held coordination meetings with partner organisations to address issues related to implementation of Art. 58a KVG.
We would like to sincerely thank the ANQ team for their dedicated work over the past year! We would also like to thank, in particular, the members of the board, the quality committees and the expert groups who contributed their expertise and time to ANQ. We also extend our thanks to our member and partner organisations as well as to all service providers and the authorities for their valuable cooperation. 2021 once again made one thing clear: close cooperation at all levels is one of the most important prerequisites for continuous quality improvements for patients.
Dr. Petra Busch, Managing Director
Thomas Straubhaar, President