Primary care reform law passed by Sejm

The Sejm on 27 October passed the Primary care law. The new model – which will initially be introduced on a pilot basis until the end of 2019 – places a number of new obligations on the primary care doctor, who will serve as coordinator of care for the patient, health minister Konstanty Radziwill noted. It also introduces teamwork into primary care, with primary care doctors acting as heads of teams that will also include a primary care nurse and midwife.

The primary care doctor will guide the patient within the network of healthcare services, collaborating and exchanging information with other doctors and parts of the healthcare system to ensure that the patient receives continuous and comprehensive care.

The coordinated care model will ensure patients receive adequate prophylactics, diagnostic tests and specialist consultations as part of individual diagnostic and treatment plans, the ministry said.  

Also, each healthcare provider will have to appoint a “administrative coordinator” responsible for organising the therapeutic process and informing the patient about it.

The law introduces new financing mechanisms for primary care to motivate doctors to perform their new role. Although the capitation fee will remain, three additional funding elements will be added: entrusted budget (i.e., money that a primary care team can spend on specialist consultations etc. to ensure coordinated care); task-based fee (additional money for prophylactics), and an extra allowance rewarding good outcomes and high quality of care.

The coordinated care model will be fully implemented on 1 October 2020.