So-called “micro-hospitals”--acute care facilities with six to 10 beds--could actually prove to be big moneymakers for healthcare systems.
The Indianapolis Business Journal has reported that such hospitals can allow healthcare systems to bypass site neutrality rules that prohibit billing at inpatient rates if a facility is located more than 250 feet from an acute care facilty. Moreover, their construction costs, at between $7 million and $30 million, are a fraction of what it costs to build a full-size hospital.
Most micro-hospitals are open around the clock like a typical acute care facility, but they tend to offer limited services, such as observation care and short stay inpatient admissions.
St. Vincent Health, located in the Indianapolis area, said it planned to build at least eight of the pint-sized facilities in the coming years. “There were a number of areas we felt did not have a physical presence and patients are asking for our services,” St. Vincent CEO Jonathan Nalli told the Indianapolis Business Journal. “So we’ve set out on a journey and a strategy of, ‘How do we best locate where those opportunistic areas are?’"
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