INOVATION: No-frills micro hospitals emerge

No-frills micro hospitals with as few as 8 rooms emerge as a new way to cut health-care costs

  • Micro hospitals are emerging in some suburban and urban markets as a backup to community facilities — or in regions where there is not enough demand for full-sized hospitals.
  • Also called neighborhood hospitals, these facilities can provide lower-cost care for patients compared with traditional community hospitals.

Berkeley Lovelace Jr. | @BerkeleyJr
Published 1:14 PM ET Fri, 2 March 2018  Updated 2:13 PM ET Fri, 2 March 2018

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Micro hospitals, also called neighborhood hospitals, have cropped up in states such as Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Texas. Saint Luke’s Health System in Leawood, Kansas, recently opened its own 17,000-square-foot micro hospital, no bigger than an average CVS Health store.

Hennum at Dignity Health St. Rose-Dominican told CNBC these facilities are not meant to replace larger hospitals or emergency rooms but can provide a kinder, more personalized level of care.

Hennum said the micro facilities can treat things like gunshot wounds and high-risk pregnancies, adding patients usually wait no longer than 11 minutes, on average, from entering the door to seeing a doctor.

“We only transfer 5 percent, or sometimes in other locations, 4 percent of our patients,” Hennum told CNBC. “We treat or discharge the vast majority of patients we see. … And we brought additional jobs to our community. I’ve interviewed more than 250 people.”

Larger hospitals still have their place, however. Mega hospitals have the resources to perform intensive and complex procedures whereas micro hospitals tend to be less surgical, Zane told CNBC.

For example, a person experiencing a stroke or in need of certain cancer therapies will be treated by larger facilities or specialized centers, Zane said. Micro facilities can do routine surgical care like a knee replacement that would only require a doctor and an assistant, but nothing like a liver transplant, Zane explained.

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Finally some “free market” innovation.

Want to bet that the Gooferment diktats interfere with this “trend”.

I’m sure that the SEIU (unions) will oppose these since they are cheaper and have self-described “no frills”.

And the use of digital services should be encouraged. Imagine the savings of not having to transport folks long distances for urgent care. Remember the “golden hour”?

Hope more are created; I think they will save lives.

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