In general, the clinical pathway is a tool for reporting and paying the activity of the medical institutions for hospital care. Clinical pathways are defined by the National Framework Contract. Each clinical pathway usually includes several diagnoses that are diagnosed and treated in a similar way.
The algorithm includes the types of diagnostic procedures and therapeutic methods, with minimal requirements for patient treatment being defined. Certain requirements for the medical establishment, such as apparatus, specialists and structured structures (clinics, wards, sectors), minimum patient stays, the necessary documentation for the treatment and reporting are defined
Some clinical pathways contain patient information related to the nature of the disease and its treatment. Monthly the hospitals provide reports to the NHIF on the type and number of clinical paths performed, on the basis of which the report receives funding according to the determined price of each path.
Clinical pathways are constructed in a way that makes it possible for each diagnosis to be assimilated to any one. Four of the clinical paths can also be performed in outpatient care clinics and medical centers.
Some of the activities in hospitals are referred to as clinical procedures and outpatient procedures. These are hospital activities which, due to a certain specificity, can not fit into the methodology of clinical pathways.
The purpose of the clinical pathways is for the hospital to receive an average pay for similar cases of illness, depending on the number of treated patients.
The prices of clinical paths, however, are determined empirically, and some are purely lobbyist. This has led to many contradictions between the doctors themselves.
In many hospitals, clinical pathways are used to pay the activity of doctors in the ward, which has led to the disintegration of healing, turning the wards into separate business units.