Houston Public Hospital District to Build Surgery Centers Rather Than Add Hospital Beds

Publicly-funded Harris County Hospital District in Houston plans to build outpatient clinics and ambulatory surgery centers in lieu of adding hospital beds, according to a Houston Chronicle report.

Leaders of Houston's largest private and public hospital systems say the city has too many hospital beds. David Lopez, CEO of Harris County Hospital District, estimated the region already has approximately 10 percent more beds than necessary. Dan Wolterman, CEO of non-profit Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, added that the "annual use rate," or the number of hospital admissions per 1,000 people, has dropped over the last three years.

Mr. Lopez said the move to ambulatory surgery centers and outpatient clinics will better serve the District's high number of uninsured patients.

Read the Houston Chronicle report on Houston hospital beds.

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