5 things to know about the trend toward microhospitals in 2018 — what does it mean for ASCs?

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ECRI Institute released the 2018 Top 10 Hospital C-Suite Watch List trends, predicting that microhospitals will be a fast growing sector in the future.

 

Microhospitals typically provide inpatient beds and emergency care for lower acuity patients who don't necessarily need a full acute care hospital. Could microhospitals dip into the same patient base as ASCs, or would they fill the gap between the truly sickest patients and those who are good candidates for outpatient surgical procedures?

Here are five key trends in microhospitals:

1. The microhospital is typically 15,000 to 25,000 square feet with services that span surgery, pharmacy, imaging and some inpatient services. Microhospitals may also provide labor and delivery and emergency services.

2. Hospitals and health systems may consider microhospitals when they're looking to expand without making a large infrastructure investment. Urban hospitals are also using the strategy to grow into suburban areas and spread their brand.

3. Microhospitals aren't acutely defined; some focus on limited services while others are multifunctional. The microhospital can also be used as a feeder site for the main acute care hospital.

4. Health systems take on risk when building microhospitals, and if executed incorrectly the microhospital could be a drain on the system's resources.

5. Microhospitals have the same licensing standards as acute care hospitals, but in some states face regulatory hurdles.

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