At-home support programmes for chronic conditions

Caring for the chronically ill through disease management programmes

SWICA offers structured care programmes to individuals with chronic illnesses through selected doctors and health centres. The aim is to make patients the prime focus of care and offer them the best quality of life and greatest possible self-determination.
A quarter of the Swiss population suffers from some form of non-communicable disease (NCD). These conditions include cardiovascular illnesses, cancer, respiratory tract illnesses such as COPD, diabetes and musculoskeletal disorders. SWICA, in accordance with the national NCD strategy, is backing prevention programmes for the chronically ill (i.e. disease management programmes) so that you can live a full life in spite of your condition.

Disease management programmes include medical care, personal support and a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. The key factor is that you, as the person affected, have an active role in the treatment team. You receive in-depth advice on issues such as nutrition, exercise and all-round wellbeing.
Disease Management
Your doctor is the first point of contact. Depending on the programme, your doctor will call on the expertise of therapists and specialist physicians to deliver professional care with the minimum of stress. A specially trained medical practice nurse will also be responsible for delivering some of the treatment. She will take care in particular of personal support, advice and knowledge transfer relating to your illness.

It has been shown that lifestyle changes (e.g. changing one's diet or taking exercise) can have a positive impact on how an illness develops and can significantly improve the quality of life of patients. Participation in the programme is voluntary. The treatment costs will be covered by SWICA in accordance with the Federal Health Insurance Act (KVG).

Personal consultation

Would you like to find out more about disease management? SWICA Client Services would be happy to assist: Phone 0800 80 90 80

Ask for advice on disease management     General inquiries
In an initial consultation, you and your doctor discuss the treatment plan and your personal goals (e.g. weight loss or better medical test results). A series of measures is defined and integrated into the treatment plan. Other elements of the plan are: regular consultations, medication, coaching by the practice nurse and, where necessary, appointments with other specialists.
The individual treatment elements, test results and treatment outcomes are documented and regularly evaluated with you. Your treatment plan may then be modified if necessary.
The treatment plan of a diabetes patient includes, for example, regular eye tests by an ophthalmologist so that potential damage can be identified at an early stage and treated. In coaching sessions, patients are provided with in-depth information about diabetes and learn the skills they need to cope with the condition on a day-to-day basis (e.g. testing blood glucose levels).

For diabetes sufferer Carmen Götschi, simply eating what she likes has been an impossibility for almost 20 years. And even though she sticks to her nutrition and exercise programme, things don’t always run according to plan. However, thanks to the disease management programme she receives targeted assistance.

Disease management: read Carmen Götschi’s story (only in German)

SWICA is also active in diabetes prevention in order to stop diabetes from developing in the first place.

Find out more
In 2016, SWICA took part in the COPD study run by the Kantonsspital St. Gallen (KSSG). Over a period of three years, the study investigated to what degree telehealth care consultations could improve COPD patients' quality of life.

The results from the KSSG, which were published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2021, confirmed that telehealth care had a very positive effect on patients' satisfaction and quality of life. The study also reported that there was a positive influence on the progression of the COPD when patients received telehealth care support.

Information on the study can be found here

Medbase and SWICA are jointly involved in programmes that provide optimum care for diabetics. The Winterthur Institute of Health Economics (WIG) at the ZHAW has been providing scientific support for this treatment approach since 2016. An initial, positive accompanying evaluation was published in 2021. The objective of the second evaluation report from 2023 is to examine the effects of the treatment approach on the quality and economic feasibility of treating patients with diabetes using data that now covers a longer period of time.

The positive effect of the treatment method for patients with diabetes has been proven over a longer period. The quality of diabetes care within primary healthcare improves, and the increase in costs can be curbed.

Go to report (in German)
Go to WIG accompanying evaluation (in German)

What our partners have to say

We encourage our customers to stay healthy with regularly published lists of courses and training opportunities, because that's where integrated care starts for our doctors’ network. Dr Urs Keller, CEO, PizolCare Sargans
The patient is the focus of attention and plays an active role in the treatment team. We work together to achieve high treatment quality and patient satisfaction. Dr Marc Jungi, Deputy CEO Sanacare AG
Our job is to give patients the knowledge and skills they need to enjoy a high quality of life on a day-to-day basis. Dr Adrian Rohrbasser, Medbase Wil
Keeping active despite a chronic illness often requires an effort of will. But exercising regularly leads to a better quality of life, which means you get more out of life in general. Cornelia Caviglia, Physiotherapist MSc, Medbase Zurich Löwenstrasse