Hospital Closures Loom As More Patients Seek Care In Other Venues
More services are being delivered in clinics, at home or in doctors' offices. Hospitals are being forced to cut back their beds, and some face the prospect of closing down. However, children's hospitals appear to be doing fine.
Hospitals Face Closures As 'A New Day In Healthcare' Dawns
As hospitals increasingly lose patients to medical care delivered in clinics and home settings, hospital operators are escalating their efforts to shrink capacity. Hospitals are operating with fewer beds or closing outright, in some cases to make way for new ambulatory-care centers. In Lakewood, Ohio, where chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are just as prevalent as in the rest of the country, the city is about to close its only hospital, whose 200 beds are typically half empty. With three other hospitals within seven miles, the low occupancy rate makes city-owned Lakewood Hospital the high-cost provider in the area. (Evans, 2/21)
Children's Hospitals Defy Trend For Shrinking Admissions
Bucking the nationwide trend, U.S. children's hospitals' staffed beds and admissions grew slightly in 2013, according to American Hospital Association data available in this week's By the Numbers. Industry experts say the outlook for children's hospitals in the years ahead remains positive. Demographics are favorable and there are few alternatives for treating kids with serious medical conditions. (Sandler, 2/21)
Meanwhile, in other health industry news, a look at the growing number of job-based medical clinics and doctors' concerns about data fees.
The Washington Post:
Life At Work: Primary Health Care At This Employer Is A Sure Bet
In the past five years, more and more businesses have been investing in their own in-house medical centers, hoping to save on employer-provided health insurance by keeping their workers out of emergency rooms. One such company is Maryland Live Casino, which has made free medical services available to employees and their families since the Anne Arundel County gaming hall opened in 2012. (Gregg, 2/22)
Doctors Say Data Fees Are Blocking Health Reform
As they move to exchange patient information with hospitals and other health care partners, doctors are suffering sticker shock: The vendors of the health care software want thousands of dollars to unlock the data so they can be shared. (Allen, 2/23)