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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Micro-hospitals Market Set for Rapid Growth and Trend by 2026: Global Key Players Emerus Hospitals, SCL Health, Baylor Scott & White Saint Luke’s Health System, Dignity Health, Baylor Health Care System, and Christus Health - openPR

Micro-hopitals have been gaining markent presence in the last decade. Microhospitals are small footprint hospitals typically of a dozen inpatient beds or less. They are often associated with an attached emergency room or detached but near by elsewhere in the community. They may identify themselves simply as a hospital or as an "emergency hospital." Their market targets those of lower acuity illness which averages 3 day or less of inpatient stay. Those patients of higher acuity or who may require more than 3 days of inpatient care may be transferred/diverted to a larger general hospital. Microhospitals seek to be responsive to the consumer preference of convenience in health care. While they may take federal insurance (such as Medicare) some may opt not to do so as to avoid regulatory burdens which increases their operating costs. However, as the federal beneficiary and HMO (capitated care) payer mix approaches 80% of their market, excluding such payers becomes challenging to unavoidable. Thus, microhospitals tend to pop up in affluent communities with a higher median household income and higer than average education demographics. Some may use added insurance data such as median credit score for a geographic area which they purchase from a credit monitoring company. Knowing such information for zip code 77845, for instance, allows them to assess the likelihood of incurring bad debt (customers unable to pay their bills). Microhospitals have gained chagrin from competing and often pre-existing general hospitals in the communities who contend that microhospitals "cherry-pic" the best patients who are likely to pay and pass everyone else onto the general hospitals; thus, increasing the bad dept risk for the general hospitals. General hospitals further contend that quality of care provided at microhospitals may not be equitable to that at general hospitals especially if the microhospital tries to manage higher acuity patients before untimately transferring that patient to a general hospital whereupon the patient risk and prognosis may we worse, complications higher and outcomes poorer. Some complications and outcomes are reportable to monitoring agencies and directly impact the reinbursement rate of general hospitals and may cause reputational injury with financial jeopary (due to change in customer choices for their healthcare service) when reported to public websites, social media and agencies such as As with a growing trend of corporatization of healthcare, a microhospital may not indeed be a locally owned facility, but may belong to a larger system which owns/operates such facilities statewide or multisate and/or may have institutional equity owners. Contact your insurer to determine whether a microhospital is in-network. As consumer preferences dirives the market, my assumption is that microhospitals will serve a role in communities. Indeed, some of the general hospital systems are erecting microhospitals of their own to directly compete for market share.
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

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