ACURA Hospitals Baden-Baden
- ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases
- ACURA Department of Psychosomatics
- ACURA Medical Care Centre
D-76530 Baden-Baden, Germany
The ACURA Hospitals in Baden-Baden, Germany, are highly specialized acute care hospitals for Internal Medicine / Rheumatology and Psychosomatics that are renowned throughout Germany. In addition, there is a Medical Care Centre which covers a number of outpatient specialties for regional provision of medical care. The strengths of the ACURA Hospitals are their high level of medical expertise and their nationwide reputation among physicians and patients. Their location in the centre of Baden-Baden is highly attractive for international patients as well, who flock to us from all over the world.
History, Architecture and Location of the Hospital
In 1890, the Landesbad Baden-Baden was established as the forerunner of today’s Acura Department for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden in the spa quarter of the city of Baden-Baden and in the immediate vicinity of the city’s Roman bath ruins. The hospital is located in the heart of the world-famous resort of Baden-Baden (40,000 inhabitants), situated on the edge of the Black Forest in south-western Germany.
The hospital was enlarged with several extensions in 1910 and 1938. In the 1960s, the clinic focused more and more on treatment of patients with rheumatic diseases. In 1979 a modern new building with two-bed rooms and departments for diagnostics and occupational therapy was erected. At that time, the hospital became one of Germany’s leading acute care rheumatism hospitals for internal rheumatology and physical therapy (“State Rheumatism Hospital Baden-Baden”). In 1997, the state of Baden-Württemberg sold the hospital to the hospital entrepreneur Rüdiger Hurrle; since then it has been working under the name of Rheumazentrum Baden-Baden GmbH.
In 2003, the first co-operation agreement with Heidelberg University was concluded, and the Department of Psychosomatics at the Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden under the medical direction of Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Eich was established. The latter thereby also became head of the section Integrated Psychosomatic Medicine at Heidelberg University. In a second cooperation agreement concluded in 2004, Prof. Dr. Christoph Fiehn was appointed Medical Director of the Department for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden, and with the support of the latter a rheumatological section was established at the University Hospital of Heidelberg, whose director Prof. Dr. Hanns-Martin Lorenz was concomitantly appointed medical-scientific manager of the Department for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden, which can be seen as an associate director. An interdisciplinary ward of Rheumatology and the Department of Psychosomatics (“Interdisciplinary Pain Ward”), primarily for fibromyalgia patients, was established. The hospital was extended to become an outpatient centre by integration of six specialist practices (radiology, gastroenterology, angiology, plastic surgery, ENT, Traditional Chinese medicine) in the building, and in 2006 by establishment of the hospital’s own Medical Care Centre (MCC) with inclusion of six additional practices (neurology, pneumonology, rheumatology, psychotherapy,
physical medicine). There is close cooperation with the Departments of Orthopaedics and Hand Surgery of the Hospital of Central Baden.
In 2008, the hospital was sold to ACURA Kliniken Holding GmbH.
In 2009, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tomograph and a computer tomograph (CT) were set up in the radiology practice affiliated with the hospital. In addition, the year 2010 saw the establishment of a resident physician outpatient clinic for rheumatology to supplement the previously existing outpatient referral clinic for SHI patients. Finally, a section for paediatric and adolescent rheumatology as a subunit of the Centre for Rheumatic Diseases was established in April 2014. As the Medical Director of the latter, Dr. Sonja Mrusek, Specialist in Paediatrics and in Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology, was appointed; both an inpatient unit and, by integration of an additional SHI-licensed practice for paediatric rheumatology, an outpatient department for the care of children and adolescents with rheumatic diseases were founded.
Cooperation with the University Hospital of Heidelberg
The ACURA Hospitals Baden-Baden are academic teaching hospitals of Heidelberg University. Both hospitals are furthermore linked by a special cooperation agreement, resulting in close scientific and personal ties.
Prof. Dr. Christoph Fiehn is an adjunct professor and lecturer at Heidelberg University. With the style of “Medical-Scientific Manager”, Prof. Dr. Hanns-Martin Lorenz, who concomitantly heads the rheumatologic section at the Medical Clinic of Heidelberg University, also participates in the management of the hospital. The new section Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology was established in cooperation with the Paediatric University Hospital in Baden-Baden.
Prof. Dr. W. Eich is concomitantly Medical Director of the ACURA Department of Psychosomatics as well as head of the section Integrated Psychosomatic Medicine at the Medical Clinic of Heidelberg University. He is the leader of various interdisciplinary working groups of scientists on the subject of pain and psyche.
Prof. Eich and Prof. Fiehn are scientifically well represented in their field, with 70 and 88 peer-reviewed publications (Medline), respectively, and renowned in Germany as well as internationally.
ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden
Multimodal rheumatological complex treatment
Interdisciplinary treatment of patients with severe rheumatic diseases, in particular rheumatoid arthritis, has been the main medical focus of the hospital since the founding of the acute care hospital for rheumatism in 1979, and has received significant impulses for development in Baden-Baden. This also includes, in addition to pharmacotherapy, physiotherapy and physical medicine, occupational therapy and clinical psychology, as well as close cooperation with other medical specialties such as orthopaedics, hand surgery, angiology and many others as part of an inpatient treatment strategy. As “multimodal rheumatological complex treatment”, this form of treatment has found its way into the German case reimbursement fee catalogue (“disease related groups” = DRG) of inpatient treatments as well. Since the introduction of the DRG in 2006, the ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden has performed this multimodal rheumatological complex treatment on > 50 % of the inpatients, and furthermore provided gerontorheumatologic complex treatment to about 5 % of its patients. Since the founding of the Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology section, in addition multimodal paediatric and adolescent complex therapy is performed. The ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden is thus the leading provider of such therapies in Germany. All these therapies are based on interdisciplinary treatment of patients with severe rheumatic diseases adaptated to the respective age groups.
Biologics and Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
Over the last decade, furthermore research and establishment of modern treatment strategies especially with biologics (e.g. TNFα inhibitors and others) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory rheumatoid diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have been added. Milestones included the establishment of an outpatient department for clinical studies at the ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden in 2005, where e.g. the marketing authorisation studies for the biologic drug tocilizumab were carried out, as well as a large number of scientific publications e.g. on rituximab, belimumab or albumin-coupled methotrexate, as a further evolution of the most important basic drug (DMARD = disease modifying antirheumatic drug) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Focuses of the ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden
- Arthritides (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, borreliosis arthritis, etc.)
- Inflammatory systemic diseases (systemic lupus erythematosus and other collagenoses, granulomatosis with polyangiitis and other vasculitides, Still’s disease)
- Inflammatory diseases of the spine (ankylosing spondylitis aka. Bechterew’s disease, and other spondylarthritides)
- Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (juvenile idiopathic arthritis and other forms of childhood rheumatism)
- Gerontorheumatology (special problems of rheumatic diseases in the elderly)
- Osteoporosis and other bone diseases
- Interdisciplinary pain therapy (fibromyalgia and somatoform pain disorders)
Quality Projects, Awards and External Support
The ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden has been participating in the benchmarking quality project obra (Outcome Benchmarking of Rheumatologic Acute care hospitals) of the German Association of Rheumatologic Acute Care Hospitals (VRA) since 2004. In 2013, the ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden was certified by the VRA as acute care hospital for rheumatism. Internet review sites (e.g. www.klinikbewertungen.de) have awarded top ratings to our hospitals among comparable institutions in Germany.
In 2009 a board commissioned by the publishing house Axel-Springer-Verlag ranked the ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden among the 50 best hospitals in Germany, and in 2013 the medical director Prof. Dr. C. Fiehn among the 100 best physicians in Germany. Moreover, in 2009 the ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases was shortlisted for the Quality Promotion Award Health of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. Since 2010, the ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden has been funded by the Interreg program of the European Commission (project “LupusBioBank of the Upper Rhine”). In 2013, as a member of the working group “Rheumatological Specialist Assistance” Prof. Dr. Christoph Fiehn, the Medical Director, received the Kußmaul Medal of the German Society of Rheumatology for special merits in Rheumatology.
ACURA Department of Psychosomatics
The hospital uses a solution-oriented treatment approach based on depth psychology, building on the patient’s abilities and positive experiences. In addition to regular individual therapies, patients receive group therapies, supplemented by couple and family counselling. Important therapy elements are expressive and art therapy.
Focuses of the ACURA Department of Psychosomatics
- Depressive disorders
- Somatoform disorders
- Interdisciplinary pain management (interdisciplinary ward with the Acura Centre for Rheumatic Diseases of Baden-Baden) for the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrom
- Anxiety disorders
Facts and Figures of the ACURA Hospitals Baden-Baden
- ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden
Prof. Dr. med. Christoph Fiehn, Specialist in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
- ACURA Department of Psychosomatics Baden-Baden
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Eich, Specialist in Internal Medicine, Psychotherapy, Rheumatology
- ACURA Medical Care Centre Baden-Baden
Dr. Jens Matthews, Specialist in Internal Medicine, Pneumonology
approximately 220, including 17 doctors, about 46 nurses, 15 physiotherapists, 4 x-ray technical assistants (RTA), 3 medical-technical assistants (MTA), 10 psychologists, 3 occupational therapists, 1 social worker
X-ray, sonography and Doppler sonography, echocardiography, clinical laboratory and autoimmune laboratory, bone densitometry (DXA), lung function with CO diffusion measurements (body plethysmography), endoscopy, capillary microscopy and electrophysiology. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) in the building.
Figures for 2013 (from the Quality Report)
Number of beds (according to the Federal State Bed Plan): 132 ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases and 44 ACURA Department of Psychosomatics)
Total inpatient cases in 2013: 2266 ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases and 392 ACURA Department of Psychosomatics
Number of outpatient cases in 2013: 8955
ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden Most frequent diagnoses in 2013
Other disorders of soft tissue
Other chronic polyarthritis
Seropositive chronic polyarthritis
Other diseases with systemic involvement of connective tissue
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
ACURA Department of Psychosomatics Most frequent diagnoses in 2013
Recurrent depressive disorder
Other anxiety disorders
Mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol
Bipolar affective disorder
ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden: Baden-Baden and Karlsruhe (about 30 %), rest of Baden-Württemberg (60 %) and of Germany (about 10 %), predominantly on an outpatient basis also about 200 patients / year from Russia, Asia and the Middle East.
ACURA Department of Psychosomatics: Mainly region Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe and Stuttgart
ACURA Centre for Rheumatic Diseases Baden-Baden: Internal rheumatologists (about 40 %), general practitioners and internal specialists (about 35 %), orthopaedic surgeons (about 20 %)
ACURA Department of Psychosomatics: GPs and psychotherapists